Victorian dynamo Will Pucovski today became the first Sheffield Shield batsman to score consecutive double-hundreds since the 1997-98 season, and his claims for a Test call are reaching undeniable status.
Staring the second day unbeaten on 183, the 22-year-old star took just over 30 minutes on day two to reach his 200, raising his bat after squeezing a ball off his pads for two.
The double-hundred came on the back of Pucovski scoring an unbeaten 255 against South Australia, opening the batting for the first time in his career.
But Pucovski was then out just moments later for 202, caught trying to flick a ball from WA seamer Mark Kelly off his hip.
Pucovski was dismissed for the first time in 733 balls this summer, giving him a Shield average of 457.
It’s been a stunning start to a summer that should result in Pucovski’s selection in the Test squad to face India, if not in the team as an opening partner for David Warner in the opening clash against India in Adelaide.
“You have got to pick him. Decision has been made. Open the batting with Dave Warner,” former Test captain Michael Clarke said on Sydney radio on Monday.
“He has so much experience around him. He struggled in the past with some mental issues that he has had. He has a lot of support around him at the moment, he feels like he is in a better place.
“The fact that this series is in Australia is a great way to get him into that Test team as well. He is playing in conditions he is accustomed to and used to.”
Will Pucovski becomes the first Aussie to hit back-to-back double centuries since Michael Clarke in [email protected] | #SheffieldShield pic.twitter.com/NUwdEsK7N8
The last person to score back-to-back Shield hundreds was Tasmania’s Dene Hills, who now plays a crucial role as a batting analyst with Australian coach Justin Langer’s team.
Pucovski’s Victorian captain, and batting partner for most of the opening day, Peter Handscomb, said the opener was batting on “instinct” and it was beautiful to watch.
“He’s pretty relaxed. He just enjoys being out there. He would rather be batting than sitting down. He’s having a great time every time he bats,” Handscomb said.
100s? Will Pucovski doesn't just make 100s.
In fact, in this #SheffieldShield season, 100 seems to indicate he's only getting started.
Well batted, Puc! #vicsdoitbetter pic.twitter.com/d5pNSxPveY
“In two hits opening the batting has taken to it nicely.
“He’s going out there, batting on instinct and it’s see ball, hit ball at the moment and it’s beautiful to watch.”
Pucovski batted for the entire opening day of Victoria’s Sheffield Shield clash with Western Australia, and, when combined with his 255 not out against SA, had spent every minute of two games on the field until his dismissal.
Opening for the fist time in his career, Pucovski and partner Marcus Harris set a New Australian record with their partnership of 484 in the last match against SA and put on 186 against WA.
Both are vying for a Test recall and Handscomb said they couldn’t be doing much more for their cause.
“I think both of them are pushing their (Test) cases. It wasn‘t that long ago that Harry was opening the batting for Australia in tough conditions against two of the best bowlers to left-hand batters in the world in (Jofra) Archer and (Stuart) Broad (during last year’s Ashes),” Handscomb said.
“Harry will be better for the run if he does get another opportunity to play Test cricket.
Will Pucovski celebrates his century on day one against Western Australia in Adelaide. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“Both of them are playing beautiful shots, they‘re timing it nicely. It wasn’t an easy wicket to time the ball on, but both of them were able to find gaps in the field and get the ball to the boundary
“If both of them get an opportunity at some stage it’d be awesome, and they both seem as if they’re ready to go.”
Source: Read Full Article