Will Pucovski was the name on everyone’s lips in the build-up to Australia’s Test series against India earlier this year.
In a stunning knock for Victoria against South Australia in October, the 23-year-old posted an unbeaten 255 and had Aussie cricket fans salivating at the prospect of what he could do when wielding the bat for his nation.
Those same fans would have their jaws agape yet again, as Pucovski hit 202 in the first innings of the following Sheffield Shield match.
The hype was undeniable, and Pucovski went on to earn his baggy green with a debut in the Sydney Test against India in January this year.
A brave score of 62 in his maiden Test innings for Australia has been the peak of Pucovski’s international career, as he unfortunately succumbed to a shoulder injury in that same match that required full reconstructive surgery.
After Pucovski went under the knife in February, fans were unsure whether he would be fully fit ahead of an upcoming Ashes series on home soil.
But Victoria coach and former Australia opening batsman Chris Rogers has given an insight into how the youngster’s recovery is going and indicated we might see him take part in the most renowned rivalry in the sport — the Ashes.
“(There’s) A long way to go,” Rogers told RSN Breakfast Club.
“Shoulder injuries can take so long, and this one was the surgery.
“He’s just doing some basic stuff, but he’s targeted the first Shield game, so that’s excellent for us.
“For a player like him, I don’t think he’ll need a lot of time to get back into the groove of things.
“So yes, come time in September, he’ll be ready to go. We’ll get him in to face the bowlers in the nets. Hopefully, that first Shield game, he’s playing.
“I think if he gets a good run, we’ll see him playing in the Ashes.”
Victoria kicks off their Sheffield Shield season with a match against the NSW Blues on September 29, and Rogers believes the domestic season is the perfect time for aspiring players to firmly place themselves in the window for making the Ashes squad.
“The great thing is there’s enough games,” Rogers said.
“If you’re good enough, you’ll find a way.
“Over the length of six games, you think that the cream would rise to the top, and hopefully we’ll see a number of Victorian players put their hand up for Australia.”
Australia will hope to retain the Ashes for yet another series, with England last holding it at the start of the 2017/18 instalment.
The 2021/22 Ashes series begins with the First Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 8.