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Pucovski, Burns and Renshaw in Test squad

12 January 2019

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. All these four players were part of the recently concluded four-match Test series against India that Australia lost 1-2.Pucovski first came into the radar when he made a remarkable 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield last October and was in the contention for India series, but opted to take an "indefinite break" from cricket for treatment on a mental health-related illness.

Australia's 13-man Test squad: Marcus Harris, Joe Burns, Matthew Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Will Pucovksi, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle.

Former Australia all-rounder and now a coach and commentator Tom Moody supported the decision to pick Pucovski saying his selection was not a surprise to him even as many found it so. The 20-year-old scored a double century for Victoria last year - the first Australian under 21 to do so since Ricky Ponting.

Pucovski, 20, made heads turn during his knock of 243 against Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield in October previous year - his second First-Class hundred, but took a six-week break from cricket following mental health conditions.

Australia's longest-serving cricket selector Trevor Hohns believes the panel's job has never been so hard, having axed four batsmen while parachuting Will Pucovski into the Test squad after just eight first-class games.

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While Pucovski is yet to make his Test debut, the Northcote side contains a player with Test experience: Zimbabwean Solomon Mire.

Despite his relative inexperience, Pucovski said he was ready to step up. "I can't use words to describe it", he told reporters.

Burns dismissed talk of a "bat off" between him and Queensland teammate Renshaw in Hobart, where the three-day tour match starts on January 17.

Selectors have included aggressive left-handed batsman Kusal Perera in the 16-man squad for the Test series in Australia.

"Matt Renshaw is a player with the ability to make big scores and at 22 years old has 10 first-class centuries". The second test begins at Canberra's Manuka Oval on February 1.

Pucovski, Burns and Renshaw in Test squad