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, reports Cricbuzz .
Joe Burns and Matt Renshaw are the other inclusions in the 13-member squad while Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh and Peter Handscomb, who were part of the squad during the four-match series against India, have been left out.
Australia, meanwhile, went in with the same bowling attack that was picked for the Sydney Test.
The 20-year-old Pucovski, who bats at No. 3 for his first-class side, scored 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October last year before he took an indefinite break from cricket on mental health reasons. In eight first-class appearances, he has scored close to 600 runs at an average of 49, with two hundreds and a half-century.
Speaking about the inclusion of Pucovski, national selector Trevor Hohns said: “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.”
Hohns also confirmed that Pucovski, Renshaw and Burns will feature in the three-day practice match between Sri Lanka and CA XI, which will be played in Hobart from January 17.
Commenting on the exclusions of Finch, Handscomb and the Marshes, Hohns said: “Ultimately Aaron, Peter, Shaun and Mitch have not produced the performances expected of them with the bat at the Test level. They have been given good opportunity, but have not produced the scores we need. All four are very good players, and the door is by no means closed for them to return to play Test cricket for Australia.
“They will all feature in the ODI Series against India, and each of them forms an integral part of our white-ball strategy and set-up at the moment as we also focus on our journey to the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The challenge now is for them to make runs for Australia in the upcoming ODIs, and then to go back to the Sheffield Shield and make more runs,” Hohns added.
The Test series begins on January 24 with Brisbane hosting the first Test. The second and final Test will be played at the Manuka Oval in Canberra from February 1.
Squad: Tim Paine (c), Josh Hazlewood, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle