Victoria coach Chris Rogers lavished praise on young Will Pucovski but claimed that it would be better for the youngster in the long run if he could dish out consistent performances for Victoria before getting a Baggy Green cap. In his first FC innings as an opener, Pucovski smashed 255*.
Ever since his stunning 243 in Perth versus Western Australia in the 2018/19 Shield season, young Will Pucovski has been in the radar of the national selectors but unfortunately, injuries coupled with mental health issues have, to date, held the right-hander back. Having claimed last week that he is in a good head-space, Pucovski donned the role of an opener for the first time in first-class cricket earlier this week and smashed a stunning 255* against a strong South Australian attack. He was, in fact, involved in a record-breaking 486-run opening stand with fellow contender, Marcus Harris.
Unsurprisingly, with Australia still searching a long-term Test partner for David Warner, Pucovski’s name has been doing the rounds as an outside pick for the India series but according to his state coach Chris Rogers, selection, at this point in time, might be a bit premature. Rogers heaped praise on the ‘classy’ 22-year-old but opined that it would help the youngster better if he could dish out more match-winning performances as an opener for Victoria before donning the Baggy Green.
"I'm not a national selector, but I think it would be good for him just to play for a while with us and keep putting the performances in,” Rogers told Cricket.com.au.
"If the opportunity did come (in the Australia team) then good luck to him, but equally it would be good to see him just make it his position in the team and do well. He's just a class player and he's got a big future but I think he's going to have to show this for a little while.”
With the double-century, the second of his career, Pucovski took his FC average to 51, sending a message to the selectors that he is ready to pounce if given a chance. However, according to Rogers, what took him aback was the versatility of the 22-year-old who, until the South Australia game, had spent the entirety of his first-class career batting in the middle-order.
"We asked him if he would be prepared to do a different role. It was something he did in the juniors but he probably hasn't been accustomed to it of late.
"He was completely open to it and actually kind of looked forward to it and then to go out and play the way he did. I must admit listening to the other (Victoria) coaches they have seen him play like this before but I didn't realise how good he actually is.”
With Cameron Green getting a call-up to the limited-overs squad, it will not be a surprise to see the selectors fast-track Pucovski, particularly with Joe Burns struggling for form in the Shield.