Will Pucovski and Cameron Green make Australia Test squad for India series

  • Selectors name enlarged 17-man squad
  • Joe Burns avoids axe for four-Test series
Will Pucovski
Will Pucovski has been rewarded for his Sheffield Shield form with a spot in Australia’s Test squad to play India. Photograph: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Will Pucovski has been rewarded for his Sheffield Shield form with a spot in Australia’s Test squad to play India. Photograph: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Australian Associated Press

First published on Wed 11 Nov 2020 03.33 EST

Young guns Will Pucovski and Cameron Green “demanded selection” and have been included alongside Joe Burns in a 17-man squad for Australia’s four-Test series against India.

Uncapped players Pucovski, Green, Mitchell Swepson, Sean Abbott and Michael Neser have all been picked in a squad that is far larger than usual because of Covid-19 protocols.

Pat Cummins has been appointed sole vice-captain of the Test side.

Incumbent Test opener Burns – who scored 57 runs from five innings in the Sheffield Shield hub – survived the axe but may yet be replaced by Pucovski in Australia’s XI for the series opener that begins on 17 December.

Burns and Pucovski are among the Test squad members who have also been named in an Australia A squad, with the pair likely to open the batting together in a tour match starting on 6 December that could decide who partners David Warner at the Adelaide Oval.

Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns heaped praise on Pucovski and Green, aged 22 and 21 respectively.

“Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test series against an extremely formidable opponent,” Hohns said.

“Cameron has already won selection in the white-ball squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an allrounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad.

“Will’s record-breaking start to the summer has been exceptional. His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double-centuries to start the summer.”

Pucovski, who was elevated to open the batting for Victoria this season, backed up an unbeaten 255 with a equally-impressive knock of 202. Green scored 197 against NSW and has become Australia’s first-choice allrounder in the absence of Western Australia teammate Mitch Marsh, who is still recovering from an ankle injury.

There were no surprises in the Test squad, with in-form pacemen Abbott and Neser to serve as cover for star quicks Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson. Legspinner Swepson’s elevation comes after he topped the Shield wicket-taking list in the hub, snaring 23 scalps at 21.

“Mitch Swepson is another who has excelled and is in fine form for Queensland. He gives the side a strong second spin option to Nathan Lyon and we feel he is ready and deserving of the opportunity,” Hohns said.

Australia squad: David Warner, Will Pucovski, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (captain), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson, Sean Abbott.