Ind vs Aus: Will Pucovski can bat anywhere in order, says Langer

Melbourne: Australia’s coach Justin Langer on Wednesday hinted that batsman Will Pucovski could possibly bat in the middle order in the upcoming Test series against India.

Victoria batsman Pucovski has hogged the limelight after he smashed two double centuries in Sheffield Shield this season and was eventually named in the Test squad last week.

Pucovski’s fine form with the bat and contrasting struggles of Burns had opened up the debate for the opening slot with David Warner in the Australian side.

“We think very, very highly of Will. We picked him as a 19-year-old, picked him as a 20-year-old, now we’re picking him as a 21-year-old (22), so he’s got enormous talent,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Langer as saying.

“He’s a gun player, he’s knocking hard and the opportunity hopefully will come for him at some point, whether it’s in this series or a series to come,” he added.

Langer feels if batsmen can bat in the top three in Shield cricket he can bat anywhere in the batting order. The Australian coach believes Pucovski’s stint in the Sheffield Shield has given the batsman the flexibility to bat anywhere.

“For Will it’s about where the opportunities come. My view, not just as the Australian coach but for the last 30 years I think, it’ been drummed into me if you can bat top three in Shield cricket you can bat anywhere in the order. It’s a bit different if you’re more specifically a five or six in Shield cricket because that’s where you’ve got to bat in Test cricket,” Langer said.

“If you bat in the top three scoring hundreds you can literally bat anywhere in the order. That’s where someone like Will, who’s opening the batting for Victoria, comes in. He’s batted at three, and it gives him the flexibility to bat anywhere,” he added.

The two teams will first lock horns in the limited-overs fixtures which gets underway this Friday. After the white-ball leg, both sides will shift their attention to the longest format of the game. The first Test between India and Australia will be a day-night contest.

The four-match series will be a part of the World Test Championship (WTC). Australia are on top of the standing while India is at the second position after ICC altered the points system for WTC due to the coronavirus pandemic.