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Opinion

Victoria's openers are in good hands

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Roar Guru
3rd November, 2020
5

New Victoria coach Chris Rogers might be the key to securing Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski’s spots in the upcoming Australian team to take on India on home soil.

A former Australian opener, Rogers took the reins of the Bushrangers in August, after Andrew McDonald stood down.

Victoria’s first match in the Sheffield Shield against saw Pucovski and Harris put together an opening stand of 486, surpassing the Waugh brothers’ 30-year-old record for the highest partnership in the competition.

Harris accompanied David Warner in three Ashes Tests after being called up for Western Australian Cameron Bancroft. Harris has played a total of nine Tests, averaging 24 and has had a reputation for playing pace bowling and the ability to leave the ball outside off-stump with ease.

Harris has similarities to the national coach, a fellow former opener, Justin Langer, after having the same batting coach in Perth.

The 22-year-old Pucovski can be a damaging threat at first-class level, scoring 255 not out in the recent game against South Australia.

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The protégé has been likened to former Test skipper Ricky Ponting, who had the ability to hook the ball square of the wicket, was strong on the leg side and used his upper frame to pull the ball on harder pitches.

Pucovski has not gone unnoticed by Australian selectors before, having been called named as part of an extended squad to face Sri Lanka in 2019, however he pulled out prior to the Canberra Test due to mental health issues.

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Pucovski has played most of his career at the top of the order but he could fit anywhere from three to six in order to find his spot at international level.

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The inclusion of Rogers as a mentor to Harris and Pucovski will be an added bonus to the team, particularly given the experience that Rogers brings as coach with his international experience at the top of the order.

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