Will Pucovski stars on debut as Aussie duo find form against India

Will Pucovski’s half-century on Test debut has helped spark Australia’s batting, helping the hosts to 2-166 at stumps on day one against India at the SCG.

Pucovski hit a classy 62 in his long-awaited Test berth, riding his luck before becoming Navdeep Saini’s first Test wicket when trapped lbw.

In Australia’s best day of the summer with the bat so far, Marnus Labuschagne struck an unbeaten 67 while Steve Smith showed signs of bouncing back to life with 31no.

With the series locked at 1-1 and India able to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a win in the penultimate Test, Australia’s fightback came at a crucial time.

And it was kickstarted by Pucovski.

For 110 balls on a wet and frustrating Sydney day where 35 overs were lost, the Victorian gave Australia a glimpse of why he’s seen as a star of the future.

He drove nicely down the ground and worked the ball expertly through the legside.

Will Pucovski raises the bat to mark his first Test half-century. Credit: Getty

The 22-year-old also played offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin with relative ease, hitting him through the offside.

Crucially, he combined in an even 100-run stand with Labuschagne, marking Australia’s first century partnership of the Test summer.

Still, it wasn’t chanceless.

He was dropped twice and should have been run out once, as Rishabh Pant spilled him behind the stumps on 26 and 32.

The second came when he gloved a Mohammed Siraj bouncer, as India clearly made a point to bounce him with his history of nine concussions.

It came after Australia brought Pucovski and David Warner together at the top of the order, dropping Travis Head.

David Warner made five runs in his return to Test cricket.
David Warner made five runs in his return to Test cricket. Credit: Getty

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