The Ashes: Australia batsman Will Pucovski ‘unlikely’ to play in first Test as he continues concussion recovery | Cricket News

Will Pucovski, 23, was struck by a ball while training for state side Victoria last month; Australia Test captain Tim Paine has tipped Marcus Harris as the “frontrunner” to open alongside David Warner against England if Pucovski proves unfit for the first Test on December 8

Last Updated: 03/11/21 7:42am

Will Pucovski hit 62 on his Test debut against India in January

Will Pucovski hit 62 on his Test debut against India in January

Australia opener Will Pucovski is set to miss the first Ashes Test next month as he continues his recovery from concussion.

Pucovski, 23, was struck by a ball while training for state side Victoria last month.

Victoria coach Chris Rogers ruled Pucovski out of this week’s Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales and said he was a major doubt for the Ashes opener against England in Brisbane on December 8 after a setback in his recovery.

“In discussions with the medical team and national selectors, it was felt that we’d give him a bit more time before he’s selected to play for Australia,” Rogers, a former Australia opener, said.

“No doubt it’s a setback – I’d say now it’s unlikely he’ll play in the first test.

“If we do play a third Shield game in mid-November, and there might be a second XI game for Victoria as well, that might prepare him for one of the matches in the middle of the Ashes series.

“That’s the best-case scenario at the moment.”

The recent training blow was the latest in a history of concussion problems for Pucovski.

He made his Test debut against India in Sydney in January, scoring 62 in his maiden innings, but suffered a shoulder injury in the match and was replaced by opener Marcus Harris.

Australia Test captain Tim Paine has tipped Harris as the “frontrunner” to partner David Warner if Pucovski proves unfit, but Queensland captain Usman Khawaja is also a contender after scoring two consecutive centuries in the Shield last month.

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