Tom Moody backs Will Pucovski’s selection for Sri Lanka Tests; rues absence of Chris Tremaine
Australia will now play a two-Test series against Sri Lanka starting in Brisbane on January 24.
Updated - Jan 9, 2019 4:10 pm
Australia announced their squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Sri Lanka starting in Brisbane on January 24. The hosts have made a number of changes to the team that played India in the just-concluded four-match series. Australia lost the series against India 1-2, conceding a Test series at home against the Asians for the first time in history, and came under criticism for their show, especially with the bat. Four batsmen from the squad that played against India – Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and the Marsh brothers – Shaun and Mitchell – were dropped from the side.
The Kangaroos instead brought in 20-year-old Will Pucovski who has played just eight first-class games since making his debut in February 2017. The Victoria batsman has two hundreds in first-class cricket already and converted one of those into a double ton. Besides Pucovski, openers Joe Burns and Matthew Renshaw were also included for the two Test-series, Australia’s final longer format assignment before the Ashes in August-September.
Former Australia all-rounder and currently a coach and commentator Tom Moody supported the decision to pick Pucovski saying his selection was not a surprise to him even as many found it so. He though said it was a “shame” not to see pacers Chris Tremain or Jhye Richardson in the squad against Sri Lanka.
Glad to see Will Pucovski
Some are saying Will Pucovski a surprise selection, for me it would've been a surprise not to see him in the test squad, shame there wasn't room for Chris Tremain – 204 FC wkts @ 23.00 and/or Jhye Richardson. #AUSvSL
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) January 9, 2019
Even though Australia’s bowlers did well than their batsmen in the recent series against India with spinner Nathan Lyon finishing as the joint highest wicket-taker with India’s Jasprit Bumrah with 21 scalps, opening pacer Mitchell Starc’s performance came under the scanner time and again. Australia saw only one five-wicket haul in the entire series by its fast bowlers and it was from Pat Cummins who took a six-for in Melbourne.
Jhye Richardson in ODI squad against India
Richardson, who has played just four ODIs so far and no Tests, features in the Australian ODI squad that will take on India in a three-game series starting Saturday. Tremaine, who also plays for Victoria, is yet to play in Tests and took part in four ODI matches since his debut in 2016, which was also the last year when he played for the Baggy Greens.