Australia striker Will Pucovski out of final Test vs India, Marcus Harris replacing him at The Gabba


Marcus Harris replaces Will Pucovski (shoulder) for Australia’s final Test against India in Brisbane; series of four matches are a draw after tourists fought to a draw on day five of the third match in Sydney

Last updated: 01/14/21 7:53


Will Pucovski miss Australia’s final Test against India after failing to recover from a shoulder problem

Will Pucovski’s budding international career is put on ice with the initial batsman ruled out of the fourth and final Test against India in Brisbane after failing to recover from a shoulder injury.

Pucovski, who scored 62 and 10 in a conspicuous debut in the drawn third Test, will be replaced by Marcus Harris for the Gabba decision, which starts Friday with the series tied at 1-1.

Victoria batsman Harris will be the only change to 11, with opener David Warner ready to play after battling his groin strain in Sydney.

Harris earns his chance after scoring a mountain of runs at Sheffield Shield, including a knockout of 239 against South Australia in October.

Harris, who has played nine Tests so far, has experience against India and was Australia’s top scorer with an average of 36.85 as part of the exhausted team that lost 2-1 at home in the 2018/19 series.

Marcus Harris replaces Pucovski at The Gabba from Friday

Marcus Harris replaces Pucovski at The Gabba from Friday

Skipper Tim Paine said Harris brought form and a sense of humor to a team that went bad as India’s batsmen held on to save the Sydney match.

Paine told reporters on Thursday: “Harry is just a no-fuss, very good player, he’s just getting started on his job.

“He brings a little humor, a little comedy to our team. He’s a really relaxed type of character, one we really enjoy having in and around our group.”

Australia came under fire for their behavior in the field late in the Sydney Test, with Paine slapped for his violent sleigh ride by Ravichandran Ashwin as the spinner helped bat India to safety on day five.

Batsman Steve Smith was also accused of playmaking for having scratched his foot on the curl during the selection, but said he just marked the center as he would if he hit.

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Australia coach Justin Langer has passionately defended Steve Smith after the striker faced accusations of playing in the wake of the third Test against India

Australia coach Justin Langer has passionately defended Steve Smith after the striker faced accusations of playing in the wake of the third Test against India

Paine, who apologized for failing to meet the team’s standards on Tuesday, said Smith was in a “good mindset” despite the criticism.

“He’s mentally very strong, very tough,” Paine said of Smith, who was man-of-the-match in Sydney after scoring 131 and 81.

“He knows he will be criticized at times, he has handled it extremely well. If anything, I think he makes a living from it.

“His stats speak for themselves and we’re seeing the best from Steve Smith again this week.”

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