Emerging and in-form youngsters Will Pucovski and Cameron Green have been selected in Australia’s 17-man squad for the Test Series against India, starting in Adelaide on December 17.
The extended squad has been named by selectors due to the bio secure hubs that the team will be based in, with the need to plan for replacing players at short notice if required.
The KFC Big Bash League commences in the week prior to the Test series, meaning players may be elsewhere around the country, thus the larger group has been named given the current challenges of state-by-state travel in Australia.
Pucovski, 22, is the big selection albeit his call-up doesn’t come as a shock, after a blistering start to the Sheffield Shield season where he’s scored back-to-back double centuries for Victoria.
However, the youngster has previously battled with mental health issues, withdrawing on the cusp of Test selection last year. He’s amassed 495 runs in three knocks, with an average of 247.5.
WA all-rounder Green, even younger at 21, gets his maiden call-up to the Test team after 363 runs in six knocks including two fifties and one century, while he’s also managed two wickets with the ball, having only just returned to bowling after injury issues.
National selector Trevor Hohns said: “What we saw in the opening rounds of the Marsh Sheffield Shield were a number of players performing exceptionally well.
“Two of those many standout players were of course Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test Series against an extremely formidable opponent.
“Cameron has already won selection in the white ball squad and continues that in joining the Test squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an all-rounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad.
“Wills record breaking start to the summer has been exceptional. His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double centuries to start the summer.
“We very much look forward to Will developing further on the international stage.”
Pucovski appears the more likely of the two youngsters to get a crack in the XI, with opener Joe Burns’ spot in jeopardy after a lean start to the Shield season with just 57 runs from five knocks. He scored 18 and 40 in Australia’s most recent Test, against New Zealand in January.
Sean Abbott, Mitch Swepson, Michael Neser and James Pattinson are all also named in the extended squad but unlikely to break into the side.
Selectors also named a 19-player Australia A squad to play India A and India in tour matches in Sydney in the lead-up to the opening Test. Australia and India will also play white ball matches prior to the Test series.
The India squad flew out for Australia on Wednesday following the conclusion of the Indian Premier League although it was revealed earlier this week that captain Virat Kohli would return home after the First Test to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.