4th Test: Marcus Harris to replace injured Will Pucovski

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Brisbane, Jan 14 (IANS) Rookie opener Will Pucovski, who injured his shoulder in the third Test, has been ruled out of the series decider against India beginning Friday at The Gabba. Left-handed batsman Marcus Harris has been called in as his replacement.

Pucovski, who made his debut last week, injured his right shoulder while fielding on the final day of the drawn Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. On Thursday morning, he failed a fitness test.

After training, Australia captain Tim Paine confirmed that Harris will partner David Warner at the top of the order.

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“He (Pucovski) tried to train this morning and didn’t quite come up,” Paine said as per cricket.com.au.

“He’ll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here, but he’s obviously missing this Test match and Marcus Harris will replace him,” he added.

Harris has not played Test cricket since the Ashes in 2019 where he was called in midway through the series, replacing Cameron Bancroft and scored 58 runs in six innings.

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“Harry’s just a known (quantity) for us and a very good player. He’s been working our backside off in our hub for a while now. He’s had huge numbers in Sheffield Shield cricket and deserves the opportunity,” said Paine.

“We’re looking forward to him going out there and doing his stuff. He just goes about his business … he adds a bit of humour and comedy to our team and is a really relaxed character. He’s someone we certainly enjoy having in and around our group and someone we have full confidence in that when he gets in and gets a start tomorrow, he’ll make the most of it,” he added.

The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first Test in Adelaide while India winning the second in Melbourne.

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Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

–IANS

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