Marcus Harris set for recall ahead of Travis Head
Marcus Harris set for recall ahead of Travis Head

Head to miss out if Aussies need Pucovski back-up

Marcus Harris is poised for an unexpected comeback to Test cricket if debutant Will Pucovski's niggling shoulder rules him out at the Gabba.

Harris, 28, has not worn the baggy green since the 2019 Ashes, but will be called in to open the batting with David Warner if Pucovski is ruled out on Wednesday.

There had been speculation that Matthew Wade could return to the top in a move that would allow Travis Head to immediately reclaim his place in the middle order should Pucovski be ruled out.

 

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But Australia's preference is to keep Wade at No.5 - and Head out of the line-up - with Harris placed on standby.

"Will had a sore shoulder before he fell on it, he was actually going to have a scan after that day's play anyway," coach Justin Langer said on Wednesday.

"It might be a bit of bursitis or something. We'll see how he pulls up today.

"It's either going to be a quick turnaround and he's back or it might be a few weeks."

Warner had another scan on his groin in Sydney on Monday night, but Langer said the "old pro" was certain to back up in Brisbane, despite his tendon remaining sore.

The Aussies remain confident that Pucovski will get the green light as well, stopping them from using a fifth opening batsman this series.

"Will's a young guy who has just played his first Test, so mentally he's going to be exhausted anyway," Langer said.

"With shoulders as long as he can bat OK and catch it's not as big a deal in Test cricket, but we'll probably know by tonight (Wednesday).

"We're really hopeful that he'll get up, and if he doesn't the obvious thing would be that Marcus Harris would come in as the opener."

 

Another star out as India's injury crisis deepens

An injury-ravaged India have been dealt another blow ahead of the fourth Test in Brisbane with Jasprit Bumrah ruled out due to an abdominal strain.

According to reports in India, Bumrah sustained the injury in Sydney and scans have revealed a strain.

"Jasprit Bumrah suffered an abdominal strain while fielding in Sydney. He is going to sit out of the Brisbane Test but is expected to be available against England," a BCCI source told PTI.

With the pace spearman out of action it is expected that Mohammed Siraj in his third Test will lead the visitor's attack for the Gabba test starting on Jan 15th.

India has lost three quicks on the current tour with Bumrah joining Mohammed Shami (broken arm) and Umesh Yadav (calf) sidelined.

 

It will leave the visitors with a threadbare attack for the deciding Test with Siraj (two Tests) and Navdeep Saini (one Test) as the frontline quicks.

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav is likely to feature after being the only fit bowler in the touring party overlooked for the Sydney Test.

All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja (thumb) won't play at the Gabba, while batsman KL Rahul will also be unavailable and Hanuma Vihari (hamstring) and Rishabh Pant (elbow) are in doubt.

Spinner Ravi Ashwin - the subject of sledging Australian captain Tim Paine has moved to apologise for - could also miss with a back injury.

Ashwin batted through the final day to secure a famous draw for his team after being unable to sit down in the dressing room after sustaining a back problem the day before.

He is still a chance of playing on Friday but may have to bowl through pain.

If India is forced into three or more changes, it will have Kuldeep Yadav, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha and axed Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw to choose from.

One-day series breakout star Natarajan could also be considered.

 

 

 

INDIA'S INJURY WOES

 

OUT FOR SERIES

Mohammed Shami (arm)

Umesh Yadav (calf)

Ravindra Jadeja (thumb)

KL Rahul (wrist)

Jasprit Bumrah (abdominal strain)

 

IN DOUBT

Hanuma Vihari (hamstring)

Rishabh Pant (elbow)

 

POSSIBLE FOURTH TEST TEAM

Shubman Gill

Rohit Sharma

Cheteshwar Pujara

Ajinkya Rahane

Mayank Agarwal

Rishabh Pant

Wriddhiman Saha

Ravichandran Ashwin

Kuldeep Yadav

Navdeep Saini

Mohammad Siraj

 

Originally published as Head to miss out if Aussies need Pucovski back-up



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