Former Australia captain Mark Taylor has demanded selection of youngster Will Pucovski over Joe Burns for the four-match Test series against India, starting December 17. Pucovski has produced successive double hundreds for Victoria and is the Sheffield Shield's highest run-scorer at the moment.
As we are getting closer to the Border-Gavaskar trophy, the questions around selections are getting intense. Recently, Australian coach Justin Langer hinted that Joe Burns, despite his wretched run in Sheffield Shield, is likely to open with David Warner in the first Test in Adelaide, which will be a Day-night game starting December 17.
However, former Aussie skipper and ace commentator Mark Taylor has batted for Will Pucovski's inclusion ahead of Burns, with the youngster in the form of his life. Burns has made 57 runs from five innings in the ongoing Sheffield Shield compared to Pucovski, who has struck 495 runs in just 3 digs.
"I would play Will Pucovski and leave Joe Burns out. Burns averages 38 in Test cricket he's been a solid player for Australia without being a great one," said Taylor on Channel 9's 'Sports Sunday, reported FirstPost.
"Pucovski said he's ready – he's made two double hundreds. Pick him while he's in form. He has the potential to be a player for the next decade."
The 22-year-old has made back-to-back double hundreds, amassing 202 against Western Australia after an unbeaten 255 against South Australia in the Sheffield Shield. The right-hander has hammered 495 runs in merely three innings to top the batting run-charts despite missing opening two rounds of the tourney.
This is not the first time when he has come close to making it to the national side's XI. He could have made his debut for Australia in 2018 but had stepped away from the game due to his mental health issues. Taylor praised his honesty in opening up about his issues, which, according to Taylor, not many would have done during his playing days.
"He's been open and honest about it from the word go that wouldn't have been easy. In the sides I played in it would have been seen as a sign of weakness now it's seen as a sign of strength.
"I like the fact Victorian coach Chris Rodgers has had a word to him about batting at the top of the order. He's done that, made two double hundreds, and he's once again publicly come out and said, 'I now feel good, I'm enjoying my cricket, I'm ready," Taylor said.
He feels that Pucovski has set a great precedent for youngsters to open up on their issues publicly and come back better.
"His openness and his transparency with his mental health issues have really helped him, and I think has set a really good example for young sports people."