Will Pucovski set to gain shock call-up to Australia test squad


Pucovski only returned to Sheffield Shield action with Victoria last month, having taken leave due a mental-health issue after scoring a double century against Western Australia in October, and he was stunned to be included in Australia's 13-man squad.

Opener Renshaw last played a Test on the tour of South Africa last March, when he was a late call-up after Cameron Bancroft and David Warner were stood down for their role in a ball-tampering scandal.

Red-ball specialists now running drinks in the Big Bash League, including former Test bowlers Jackson Bird and Joe Mennie plus highly-rated NSW batsman Kurtis Patterson, may also be drafted into the CA XI.

While Pucovski is yet to make his Test debut, the Northcote side contains a player with Test experience: Zimbabwean Solomon Mire. "We look forward to him joining the squad and congratulate him on his first national call-up", national selector Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying.

Scheduling has been a source of frustration for Australian players in recent years, including the domestic one-day competition effectively becoming a pre-season tournament plus the Sheffield Shield's mid-season hiatus.

And then there is Renshaw, who has dropped ahead of the last Ashes.

Australia slumped to a 2-1 series loss to India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in which not one Australian batsman scored a century. He also performed extremely well in England during the County season.

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"Ultimately Aaron, Peter, Shaun and Mitch have not produced the performances expected of them with the bat at the Test level", Hohns told reporters on Wednesday.

The bowlers are unchanged from the four-Test series.

"They have been given a good opportunity, but have not produced the scores we need".

Next week's tour game in Hobart shapes as a selection showdown that will help Australia settle on their top six for the day-night Test in Brisbane that starts on January 24.

"They will all feature in the ODI series against India, and each of them forms an integral part of our white-ball strategy".

"The challenge now is for them to make runs for Australia in the upcoming ODIs (against India), and then to go back to the Sheffield Shield and make more runs".

Editorial team of CricketCountry.