With the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy tied at 1-1, and the third Test at SCG being highly important for hosts Australia, one could say that the Tim Paine-led side has played positive cricket on the first day of the feud. Will Pucovski shone with the bat and scored an impressive 62 against the Indian bowling attack, establishing a 100-run stand with Marnus Labuschagne for the second-wicket.
The Victoria-born cricketer had his share of luck in his debut game, as he was dropped twice by Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. The first encounter was when Puvoski was batting on 26 and a Ravichandran Ashwin’s delivery edged but wasn’t taken. On the second occasion, it was a delivery of Mohammed Siraj that forced Puvocski to pull, but once again Pant couldn’t glove it completely.
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The third instance was when there was a good chance of a run-out in the 29th over of the innings, as Puvovski struck towards extra cover for two runs with Marnus Labuschagne and there was a mix-up regarding the third run. This is when Bumrah fumbled allowing the right-hander to get back into the crease.
Finally, it was Navdeep Saini’s full-length delivery that hit Pucovski straight onto the pads that brought curtains on his debut innings.
A leg-stump yorker to Will Pucovski won’t be a bad option: Wasim Jaffer
The talks regarding Will Pucovski surfaced from the moment he emerged as the highest run-getter in the Sheffield Season 2020-21, scoring 495 runs in 4 innings at a jaw-dropping average of 247.50, with two centuries under his belt. Overall, he has made a total of 23 First-Class appearances and aggregated 1744 runs at an average of 54.50, including 6 hundreds and 5 fifties.
Pucovski’s knock in his debut Test in such a high-pressure environment brought him laurels from the entire cricket fraternity. However, former India cricketer and the batting coach of IPL franchise Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) Wasim Jaffer exposed a flaw in the 22-year-old’s technique that the Indian bowlers should exploit in the second innings.
Jaffar, who is an Indian domestic legend with 19,410 runs in 260 First-Class matches, reckons that Puvoski exposes the middle-stump a lot to the bowlers and thus, the Indian bowling attack should continue bowling to the stumps and maybe deliver a leg-stump yorker to dismantle the Aussie player in their next encounter.
“Pucovski goes so far across that even the middle stump is exposed. India should continue to bowl in the stumps to him with the leg-side field just need one to jag back and hit the pad. Also, a leg-stump yorker won’t be a bad option,” tweeted Jaffar.
Australia are looking pretty solid at the end of day one, with a total of 166 for 2, and both Labuschagne and Steve Smith unbeaten on scores of 67 and 31 respectively.