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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Cricket: Victorian coach Chris Rogers said Will Pucosvki is a “special one”

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Victorian coach Chris Rogers always knew Will Pucosvki had the abiilty to open the batting but conceded even he didn’t expect to see the onslaught of runs the batting dyanamo has produced.

Pucosvki was out for only 38 on the final day of the Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia, which petered to a “frustrating draw” when the teams shook hands at tea.

But Pucovski’s three innings at the top of the order returned 595 runs from 831 balls faced, with a batting average of 297 as he prepares to now join the Australian Test squad.

Former selector Mark Waugh said the performances demanded Pucovski replace Joe Burns in the Test team to play India next month.

“Two double hundreds speaks for itself,” Waugh told Fox Sports

“I think the time is right. He’s in great form, he’s obviously playing with a lot of confidence and unfortunately Joe Burns just hasn’t made enough runs, last season in Test cricket or this season in the Sheffield Shield.”

Rogers, the former Test opener who is in his first year as Victorian coach, said selectors had toyed with the idea of Pucosvki opening before.

But he went for it knowing it was the 22-year-old’s best way in to the Test team with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith locked at three and four.

“He was always capable of it. There was even some thought a couple of years ago about pushing him up the order,” Rogers said at the end of play.

“A lot of good judges have seen that he is definitely capable of opening the batting and it suited our side well.

”And if you want to play Test cricket, getting in the Australian side batting at three or four isn’t going to happen at the moment.

“It was a bit like when (Australian coach) Justin Langer retired, every man and his dog became an opening batsmen.

“It was a good opportunity to stake a claim and probably no-one expected him to do what he has done and that has been unbelievable.”

Rogers said Pucovski was an undeniable talent and despite suggesting after his 255 against South Australia he could “wait” for Test elevation, said the youngster was ready to play for Australia.

“Will is an incredible talent, he’s just such a beautfuilt player to watch. The way he goes about it, it just doesn’t seem like he is 22 years of age,” he said.

“He’s a special one and hopefully there’s bigger and better things for him in the future.”

The two teams shook hands at tea on the final day, with the Vics 134 runs in front, but still only four wickets down after four days of toil for bowlers on both sides.

Originally published as Pucovski is a “special one”

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