Wednesday, 19 June, 2019

Kusal Perera included for Australia Tests

Kusal Perera hasn't played a Test since the series against the Windies in June last year Kusal Perera hasn't played a Test since the series against the Windies in June last year
Sidney Guerrero | 12 January, 2019, 20:12

Victorian batsman Will Pucovski has earned a maiden call-up to the Australia Test squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka.

In their place, a 20-year-old bolter by the name of Will Pucovski, who despite having just eight first-class games to his name has already lit the cricketing world on fire.

Pucovski, 20, made heads turn during his knock of 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October previous year - his second First-Class hundred, but took a six-week break from cricket following mental health conditions.

In their place comes Pucovski and Queensland duo Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw, both making a return to the side after being previously dropped.

Batsmen Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh were all dropped from the squad that lost a home Test series against India for the first time.

"Joe Burns has had strong performances in first-class cricket this season, and we believe he can contribute strongly if given the chance in the series", Horns added.

Steve Smith comeback to be delayed by elbow surgery
Former Australian captain Steve Smith's return to global cricket is set to be derailed due to an elbow injury. The timescale for his recovery will also put him in doubt for the IPL which starts on March 23.

The fixture at Bellerive overlaps with an ODI at the MCG, suggesting one-day squad members Khawaja, Handscomb and the Marsh brothers won't take part.

Hohns, Justin Langer and Greg Chappell are now attempting to fix a misfiring top six during a two-month period in which domestic players can only make their case in Twenty20 cricket. "They have been given good opportunity, but have not produced the scores we need".

The recall comes despite averaging 19 in this season's Sheffield Shield, with Ashes-minded selectors relenting and citing his recent record in England when reading out his name on Wednesday. "We look forward to him joining the squad and congratulate him on his first national call-up". Burns has been in good form in the current Sheffield Shield season, scoring 472 runs at 47.20 with four half-centuries.

National selector Trevor Hohns said "there is no doubt the India series produced some disappointing results" and change was needed, after four Tests characterised by the failure of any Australian batsmen to score a century.

Meanwhile, Renshaw played last of his 11 Tests in March-April 2018 when he had to fly to South Africa for the final Test after ball-tampering scandal broke out in Cape Town.

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