Will Pucovski picked in Test squad, Joe Burns axed

Will Pucovski could still miss the Sydney Test despite being brought into Australia’s Test squad for the final two Tests of the India series, according to Adam Gilchrist.

Pucovski is one of three inclusions into Justin Langer’s squad, joining David Warner and Sean Abbott as Australia braces for a reshuffle at the top of the order after Joe Burns’ axing.

The 22-year-old has not batted since being concussed during an Australia A fixture in the lead-up to the first Test of the India series, and Gilchrist says that could count against him.

“My natural instinct is that if you bring someone into a squad, a la Pucovski, you’re probably going to play him. It may not be that certain,” he told Fox Sports.

“They might be bringing him into the squad so he can start getting higher-level practice and be fully engaged with the squad and the high-quality training that goes along with that.

“Since his blow to the head he hasn’t really had any other cricket to go and play, so perhaps they’re bringing him in more as cover should something else happen or if they want to play him in the fourth Test.”

With Burns axed, Gilchrist said middle-order batsman Travis Head was under most pressure to retain his spot for the final two Tests.

“Matt Wade has made a really strong case to stay at the top of the order by way of determination and fight and that natural characteristic that comes through in his game,” he said.

“He hasn’t capitalised on big runs but I think they’ll probably keep Wade at the top with Warner and leave that middle order as settled as they can.

“That’ll put the spotlight on Travis Head – he’ll have to deliver big runs. I don’t think he’s fallen foul of the selectors just yet, I think they’ll show faith in him for at least one more Test match.

“Then if changes need to be made, obviously they’ll have Pucovski there with a week of good solid training under his belt with the team. He’ll be there for Brisbane if they want to make a change.”

Australia and India have just over a week before the New Year’s Test gets underway at the SCG on January 7, before the series finale in Brisbane on January 15.

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