Pucovski gets shock Australia call-up, Marsh brothers dropped

By Sports Desk January 08, 2019

Will Pucovski was surprisingly named in Australia's 13-man squad for their Test series against Sri Lanka, with the Marsh brothers dropped.

Pucovski, Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw were included in the squad, while Shaun and Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch and Peter Handscomb were left out.

A 20-year-old from Victoria, Pucovski has played just eight first-class matches, scoring 588 runs at an average of 49, although he averages 103.66 this Sheffield Shield season.

Burns and Renshaw return to the Test fold for the first time since early 2018, averaging 36.76 and 33.47 respectively in the five-day format.

"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," national selector Trevor Hohns said.

"Matt Renshaw is a player with the ability to make big scores, and at 22 years old has 10 first-class centuries. He also performed extremely well in England during the County season. We see him as a long-term prospect as a Test player and have confidence in his ability to bounce back following a string of low scores early in the Shield season.

"Will Pucovski is an exciting young player who is making his mark in the Sheffield Shield. He is another player with a track record of making centuries. We look forward to him joining the squad and congratulate him on his first national call-up.

"All three will play in the CA XI match prior to the first Test, to give them the best possible preparation to play Test cricket for Australia."

Hohns said Finch, Handscomb and the Marsh brothers had "not produced the performances expected of them with the bat at the Test level", having struggled during Australia's 2-1 series loss to India.

The first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka begins in Brisbane on January 24.

 

Australia: Tim Paine (c), Josh Hazlewood (vc), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle.

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