Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Will Pucovski remains part of Australia's long-term plans, and has been named in an eight-man group of emerging batters and spin bowlers to head to the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai for a ten-day training camp in August.
Pucovski, 24, has played just three first-class matches since making his Test debut in January 2021 against India in Sydney. He suffered a shoulder dislocation in that game and required surgery. He then suffered a concussion at Victoria training last October that kept him out of cricket for three months and then another incident in his first-class return in February triggered concussion symptoms forcing him into another break given his extensive history of head trauma.
He made a successful return for Victoria at the end of the season, making 59 in the Sheffield Shield final against Western Australia. Selectors opted not to take him to Sri Lanka with the Australia A squad, with chairman George Bailey saying they were keen for him to have an extended run of uninterrupted cricket before calling him up for Australia A or national duty again.
But the selectors have named him in a group of emerging prospects to head to Chennai for a training camp from August 7 to August 17. Pucovski joins fellow internationals Josh Philippe and Matthew Kuhnemann in the group, while Australia A players Henry Hunt, Tanveer Sangha and Todd Murphy have also been named. Two of Australia's Under-19 World Cup representatives, Cooper Connolly and Teague Wyllie, will also make the trip. Wyllie made his first-class debut late last summer and was part of WA's Sheffield Shield-winning team.
Will Pucovski made a half-century in the Sheffield Shield final•Getty Images
The eight players will integrate with local Indian players for training sessions, and play one one-day match and a two-day game. Former Sri Lanka batter Thilan Samaraweera will coach the group after being part of the coaching staff for the Australia A team in Sri Lanka. Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath will also be there as a coach as part of his role as a consultant to the MRF Pace Foundation. Selector Tony Dodemaide will be the tour manager.
"It is exciting to renew the partnership with the MRF Foundation and provide this group of young players with a truly unique experience," Dodemaide said. "Some players have toured the subcontinent in the past so this trip will further refine their skills while others will gain valuable new experience in these testing conditions."
The news follows Chetan Sakariya and Mukesh Choudhary being named to play in the KFC T20 Max series in Queensland next month as part of the exchange programme with the MRF Pace Foundation. The duo will also train at CA's National Cricket Centre in Brisbane and be involved in Queensland Bulls' pre-season preparations.