Marcus Harris becomes David Warner’s opening partner, Tim Paine “shattered” by Will Pucovski concussion
Posted On October 15, 2021
Australian testing captain Tim Paine said he was “shattered” by the news of Will Pucovski’s latest concussion, revealing that Marcus Harris is now the man most likely to partner with David Warner for this summer’s Ashes series.
The 23-year-old, who made a promising test debut against India last summer, was hit in the net last week, and although no symptoms were immediately evident, he started. to feel the effects the next day.
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Speaking on SEN Hobart, Paine said there was “no doubt” that Pucovski would have opened the baton during the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in December.
While the skipper was hoping Pucovski wouldn’t face an extended stay on the sidelines, he conceded Harris would likely be in the squad for Gabba.
“He’s probably the favorite now for this role. He’s someone who hasn’t had an extended run in the cricket test,” Paine said.
“So that he can potentially now get an extended race in the cricket test, I’m excited to see what he could do.
“He has just returned from a superb six month stay in England playing for Leicestershire in County Cricket and we know his first class record has been outstanding for Victoria for a long time.”
Pucovski suffered up to 10 concussions in his career, although not all of them occurred at bat, and some were from school football.
Paine dismissed suggestions that Pucovski has a technical problem with short-length bowling.
“You don’t have an average of 50 in first-class cricket without being a good shortball player,” he said.
“He had a really bad concussion as a kid… he’s more susceptible than the rest, he doesn’t have to be hit that hard to have an effect on his head.”
Pucovski’s only test to date was at SCG last summer, when he scored 62 and 10, but suffered a shoulder injury on the pitch that ruled him out for the remainder of the season.
The Australian skipper remains optimistic Pucovski could still play a role in the Ashes series.
“He’s still hoping to be ready at some point this summer,” Paine explained.
“He’s got a lot of support around him, and we know how good he is, so there’s no need to rush him right now. He’s 22-23, he has a lot of time in the game though. we can get it right.
“(It was) upsetting when I found out about him. I’ve talked to him a little bit over the past few days. He’s slowly improving.
“I don’t think it’s as bad as some of the others he’s known before, but with his story we have to be very careful. I was devastated to hear it was happening again.”
Paine is on his own comeback trail, having undergone surgery last month on a bulging disc in his neck.
“I do a little Pilates, jog and swim. I move quite normally,” he said.
“I hit about 20 balls yesterday, but under my arms. The only problem at this point is the strength of my left arm.
“Just be careful of the load I put on the spine while there is still some healing.
“The movement in my neck is great and I hope in the next couple of weeks I can really start to put my foot down. I can go from zero to 100 really quickly.”
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