Will Pucovski is in doubt for the first Test in Adelaide after the precocious but concussion-prone batsman was struck on the helmet yet again in the Australia A v Indians tour game in Sydney.
The 22-year-old has already suffered multiple concussions in his fledgling career and it was a scary moment when he sunk to his knees after getting hit while attempting to hook a Kartik Tyagi short ball.
Pucovski has already been ruled out of Australia A’s next tour match with India, but will remain with the squad.
“Will experienced mild concussion symptoms but was able to leave the field unassisted,” Cricket Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, John Orchard, said in a statement.
“He was monitored in our medical room and was communicating freely with staff and teammates as well as family over the phone.
“We will continue to monitor Will over the coming days and provide an update on his condition in due course. Will will remain with the Australia A squad but will not play in the three-day tour match against India at the SCG.”
Umpires and players rushed to his aid and thankfully Pucovski was able to gather himself and walk off to the Drummoyne Oval dressing rooms for further attention.
Pucovski was considered likely to make his Test debut against India in Adelaide on December 17.
David Warner’s groin injury will almost certainly sideline him for the pink ball, day-night Test, leaving Pucovski, Joe Burns and Marcus Harris to jostle for the two opening batting berths.
Pucovski was on 23 when he retired hurt after making just one in the first innings.
“It looked nasty, he went straight off and looked shaky,” Mark Waugh said on Fox Cricket.
“Let’s just hope he’s OK,” Shane Warne added.
“Ninth time I think it is (concussions), for a young man hoping to make his Test debut.”
Pucovski has also taken long breaks from the game to focus on his mental health and wellbeing.
After being named in the Test squad last month, Pucovski spoke with great maturity about the impact the concussions had on him – and the extensive research he had done on the topic.
“A lot of medical advice has been suggesting that it can play a part in some other areas of your life,” Pucovski said.
“Obviously getting hit in the head a lot isn’t ideal from a physical or mental perspective.
“It always helps to add reason to something or understand something a little bit better.
“It was (about) understanding how the brain works and how multiple concussions can affect you.
“But I feel like I’ve bounced back from concussions really well in the past.
“I’ve done a lot of work in that space to try and make sure my processes are in a really good place and I’ve got a great support team around me.”
Adding to the selectors’ concern, Burns failed again, bowled for a duck after making four in the first innings.
“I still think they’ll go with Burns but his form is concerning,” Brad Haddin said in commentary for Fox Cricket.
“This certainly adds fuel to the conversation.”
The first tour match was drawn as Australia finished 1-52 in their second innings in pursit of 131 for victory.
Cameron Green further pressed his claims for a Test debut, taking 2-12 from four impressive overs after striking an unbeaten 125 with the bat.
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