India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Tim Paine makes a confession involving debutant Will Pucovski
Australian captain Tim Paine made a confession involving debutant Will Pucovski at the end of Day 1 of the ongoing third Test against India in Sydney on Thursday
Australian captain Tim Paine made a confession involving debutant Will Pucovski at the end of Day 1 of the ongoing third Test against India in Sydney on Thursday.
While the Australian side and the fans came to know only during the toss at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) about Pucovski's Test debut, the 22-year-old opening batsman was told about his oncoming debut a few days earlier but was asked to not reveal it to anyone.
"I might have a little bit of a confession to make actually. Because he was in my room a couple of days ago and he sort of asked (if he would be making his debut). I couldn't lie to him. I said, 'You are playing, but don't tell anyone'. So, I let it slip, but I was just excited for a mate," Time Paine told cricket.com.au after play on day one,"
Paine said in an interview at the end of day's play at the SCG.
Pucovski became Australia's 460th Test player and received the prestigious Baggy Green from the national team's assistant coach Andrew McDonald. The young batsman justified the faith showed by Paine in him by scoring a brilliant half-century on debut and giving his side the much-needed good start.
In an interview with cricket.com.au, Pucovski revealed that he had established in his head that he was going to be nervous in his first outing in the whites for Australia, but in the end "it wasn't that bad."
"It wasn't the best sleep I've ever had. In my head I think I'd built up I was going to be ridiculously nervous, and it wasn't that bad in the end," said Pucovski.
Due to the recent COVID outbreak and rules, Pucovski's family was forced to watch the moment on television in Melbourne. "Obviously, I would have loved for mum, dad, and my girlfriend to be up here to celebrate with me, and my mates but they obviously couldn't make it with the COVID restrictions. I was a tiny bit sad, especially for dad, who's been there the whole way and been such a massive support to me so I was a bit disappointed that he couldn't make it up (to Sydney)," added Pucovski.
Pucovski's Australia debut was long-awaited despite being only 22. He was forced to withdraw from the squad twice before for personal reasons and suffering nine concussions. The most recent incident happened during the first warm-up match ahead of the opening Test in Adelaide, where he was fiercely struck on the helmet and as a result, he missed the first two Tests.
Pucovski, who averages 54.50 in 23 First-Class matches since his first appearance for Victoria in 2017, called the last one month a "rollercoaster ride."
"It's been quite surreal, and a bit of a rollercoaster since getting hit about a month ago. I've been to millions of different doctors it feels like, trying to get a bit of clarity and a bit of an answer as to what the go was going forward," said Pucovski.
The 22-year-old Victorian batsman admitted that he had anticipated that the Indian team would come hard at him and that's what happened. Throughout his stay at the crease in the first innings, it looked like India attempted at bouncing Pucovski out.
"I've been bounced non-stop in all cricket I've played, just with the history of concussions. I knew India would come at me pretty hard with it, and I felt like I handled it well at times and probably just went out of my bubble at other times. But it was just one of those days where I was just absolutely loving it.
It was probably my favourite day of cricket to date, and it's a really exciting experience playing your first game for Australia but on top of that, obviously, with a bit of background to get to the position, I'm in. It was just pretty awesome to be out there," the opener further added.
Pucovski, who became Warner's 12th opening partner in Test cricket, came in the playing XI after Australia dropped Travis Head and pushed temporary opener, Matthew Wade, back to his position in the middle order. The debutant scored 62 off 110. Steve Smith, who had been out of form throughout this Test series, finally found his groove as he ended the day on 31 off 64. He shared an unbeaten stand of 60 runs with Marnus Labuschagne, who finished the day on 67 off 149. At stumps, Australia were 166 for 2 in 55 overs.