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The Roar


'A setback': Rogers delivers Pucovski Ashes forecast after ruling him out of next Shield game

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3rd November, 2021

Will Pucovski is set to miss the first Ashes Test after being ruled out of Victoria’s next Sheffield Shield game, his state coach Chris Rogers says.

Any return to cricket for Pucovski, who is recovering from the 10th concussion of his career, remains uncertain.

Rogers says the best case scenario is for the 23-year-old to be available midway through the five-Test series against England which starts on December 8 in Brisbane.

Rogers consulted Australia’s selectors in deciding to rule Pucovski out of Victoria’s Shield game against NSW, starting on Friday.

“It’s no doubt a setback,” Rogers told reporters on Wednesday.

“I’d say now it’s unlikely he will play in the first Test.

“He hasn’t quite recovered as well as hoped to play in this (Shield) game from the concussion.

“So in discussions with the medical team and the national selectors, it was felt we give him a bit more time before we select him to play for Victoria.”


Australian and Victorian hierarchy have taken a long-term view with the precocious talent who played his sole Test last January against India.

“No doubt there’s a lot of frustration for him, he wants to be playing,” Rogers said.

“He hasn’t played for seven months and to walk straight back into the cauldron and have to perform against very good opposition, that is going to be really difficult.

“And that would have been playing on his mind also.

“The decision is to look after him and allow him a bit more time to prepare in the right way rather than rush him into matches that are going to have a lot of intensity and a lot of scrutiny for him.

“Of course he wants to play for Australia for a long time to come.


“There’s a strong desire to get him into that Australian side because he’s such a talented player and a lot of people recognise it.

“But he hasn’t played for seven months so we have got to be mindful of the fact that we want him to, and no doubt he does as well, have a long career.

“So there has got to be some thought around what is in his best interests and how that plays out.”

Rogers said Pucovski was also unlikely to be available for Australia’s slated Test ‘probables versus possibles’ fixture on the Gold Coast ahead of the Ashes opener.

“Those players who are hoping to play in that game would have to go into quarantine post this Sheffield Shield round, so I daresay that is probably a little bit off the table for Will as well,” he said.