Will Pucovski remembers battle with mental health after maiden Australia Test call-up

first_imgWill Pucovski got his maiden Test call-up on Wednesday as Cricket Australia announced the 13-man squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, starting January 24. For the 20-year-old Pucovski, it has been quite a journey – from battling mental health issues to getting the chance to represent Australia in Tests – it has been a rollercoaster.Pucovski has been on the selector’s radar ever since he smashed 650 runs in the national under-19 championships and after that, he made his debut at the JLT Sheffield Shield.However, soon after scoring 243 against Western Australia, a mental health-related illness in October ruled him out of Shield action and an uphill battle followed.Now with a pleasant selection surprise, Pucovski is ready for the cricketing battle on field.”I’m feeling really good, as good as I have felt in a really long time,” Pucovski was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.”I feel like I’m in a really good space and the people I’m working with think so as well.”It’s one of those things where it is a day-by-day proposition for me that I have to manage. I think it is a good thing to invest time in.”I am meditating every morning, which I honestly never really believed in until (Murray) got me on to it and things like that have helped me really turn things around.”I was able to play that Shield game (last month) and loved every minute of it. I feel like I am back in action.”advertisementPucovski will join recalled Queensland pair Matt Renshaw and Joe Burns in the 13-man squad, with Aaron Finch, Peter Handscomb and Mitchell and Shaun Marsh all making way in another batting overhaul following Australia’s first-ever home Test series loss to India.All three batsmen will play the pink-ball three-day warm-up match against Sri Lanka from January 17 in Hobart in order to fine-tune their preparations for a possible Test call-up in Brisbane, the summer’s lone day-night Test. Incumbent No.3 Marnus Labuschagne has also been listed in the XI in a practice fixture that may well have some bearing on which batsmen ultimately gain selection in the Test side.At 35 and having averaged 18 in 10 Tests over the past 12 months, Shaun Marsh’s performance during the Tests against India came under severe scrutiny. However, national selector Trevor Hohns said Marsh can still get his place in the Test XI back.”Shaun hasn’t, certainly, done what we’d like him to have done over the last period and I am sure he would say the same thing,” Hohns said in Sydney today.”As far as the Ashes go that’s a long way off, he now has the opportunity in one-day cricket to get some form back and we’ll worry about that when the time comes.”But the door is certainly not closed.”Australia: Tim Paine (C & WK), Josh Hazlewood (VC), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Will Pucovski, Matt Renshaw, Mitchell Starc, Peter SiddleAlso Read | India vs Australia: India look to close in on No.1 England in ICC ODI RankingsAlso Read | India outsmarted Australia tactically thanks to Virat Kohli: Ravi Shastrilast_img