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Pucovski ruled out of fourth Test

Australian opener Will Pucovski has been ruled out of the fourth Test against India with a shoulder injury, paving the way for a return for Western Australian born left hander Marcus Harris in the final Test of the series at the Gabba.

The 22 year old injured his right shoulder on the final day of the third Test at the SCG, failing to recover sufficiently in time to be selected.

He didn't train at the Gabba on Wednesday and had a short hit in the indoor nets this morning, but did not take part in fielding drills with his teammates.

After training, skipper Tim Paine confirmed that Harris will partner David Warner at the top of the order in Pucovski’s absence, with the rest of the Australian XI unchanged.

"He tried to train this morning and didn't quite come up," Paine said of Pucovski.

"He'll have a bit of work to do with our medicos to see where he goes from here, but he's obviously missing this Test match and Marcus Harris will replace him."

Harris, who played the most recent of his nine Tests in the 2019 Ashes, played all four Tests of India's tour of Australia two summers ago, top-scoring with 79 at the SCG.

The left-hander had an Ashes campaign to forget against England's star seam bowlers and has a Test batting average of 24.06.

But after a middling domestic campaign last season, he returned to his best in the Marsh Sheffield Shield for Victoria, partnering Pucovski in a record-breaking partnership against South Australia and scoring 355 runs in two games, with a top score of 239. He managed scores of 35, 25no, 26 and 5 in two games for Australia A against India before the Test campaign began.

"Harry's just a known (quantity) for us and a very good player," Paine said.

"He's been working our backside off in our hub for a while now. He's had huge numbers in Sheffield Shield cricket and deserves the opportunity.

"We're looking forward to him going out there and doing his stuff. He just goes about his business ... he adds a bit of humour and comedy to our team and is a really relaxed character.

"He's someone we certainly enjoy having in and around our group and someone we have full confidence in that when he gets in and gets a start tomorrow, he'll make the most of it."

Harris will partner David Warner at the top order, the third different opening combination for Australia so far in the series.

The series is tied at 1-1 ahead of the final Test, scheduled to commence at 7:30 AM AWST on Friday.

IMAGE: India TV news.


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