Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the fourth and final Test vs India starting Friday after he failed a fitness test with Marcus Harris named as his replacement to open the innings alongside David Warner. Pucovski had hurt his right shoulder while fielding during the fifth and final day of the Sydney Test last week where he scored a fifty on debut.Also Read - Important That One Of The Top-Order Batters Bats Through The Innings: Mithali Raj
Australia were hopeful of the rookie opener being able to bat in the series finale but captain Tim Paine on Thursday confirmed he’s still got a bit of work to do as far as his fitness goes. Also Read - BCCI Announces Revised Venues For West Indies Series in February
“He tried to train this morning and didn’t quite come up,” Paine said. “He’ll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here, but he’s obviously missing this Test match and Marcus Harris will replace him.” Also Read - It's Just One Of Those Things I'll Never Forget: Usman Khawaja On Ashes Sydney Test
Harris last played for Australia in 2019 and gained his place back in the Test squad thanks to an excellent start to his Sheffield Shield campaign for Victoria. “Harry’s just a known (quantity) for us and a very good player,” Paine said.
“He’s been working our backside off in our hub for a while now. He’s had huge numbers in Sheffield Shield cricket and deserves the opportunity. We’re looking forward to him going out there and doing his stuff. He just goes about his business … he adds a bit of humour and comedy to our team and is a really relaxed character.
“He’s someone we certainly enjoy having in and around our group and someone we have full confidence in that when he gets in and gets a start tomorrow, he’ll make the most of it,” he added.
The 28-year-old Harris has played nine Tests, scoring 385 runs at 24.06 including two half-centuries.
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.