Pucovski cleared by neurologist, Warner willing to play with pain: Langer

Uncapped Australia batsman Will Pucovski has been cleared by an independent neurologist as well as by all medical experts ahead of the third Test against India scheduled to begin from Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“Will has been cleared by an independent neurologist yesterday afternoon. He has been cleared by all the medicos now. He has obviously managed all the concussion protocols which we all know are incredibly strict these days — they have all been passed. He has been cleared and that would be very heartening for him, for his family and for everyone involved in it. There is no reason why Will can’t be selected. We are just working now on the balance of our team,” informed head coach Justin Langer while speaking to the media on Tuesday morning.

Pucovski was hit by a bouncer during the first warm-up game against India A at the Drummoyne Oval played between December 6-8.

Langer said that facing short-pitched bowling should not be a problem for Pucovski as he is in a “great frame of mind”.

“I think every team he has played, they have bowled a lot of short balls to him. He has practiced with them. He has hit thousands and thousands of short balls…He is in a great frame of mind, incredibly positive about playing cricket, he has trained hard this week. The only way to get back on the horse is to get back on the horse and ultimately he is going to go there and face the short-pitched bowling,” the head coach said.

“The only person who decided to get on the horse, is the athlete and when the medical person is backing him, he has got evidence that he doesn’t have to worry too much about the long term. It is more heartening to hear from Will himself because he is the one who has to do it…We will get some eyes on Will today probably after the session this afternoon,” he added.

Langer said that the prospect of David Warner and Pucovski opening has been discussed, although a final decision is yet to be taken.

“Very, very hopeful Davey (Warner) will be ready to go. He has done everything possible to be ready for the third Test. Looks like he is moving pretty well, he is very determined to play. We will finalise on him at training this afternoon and make a decision on that. He is looking very, very likely to play the Test match,” the former opening batsman said.

“I think his batting might be fine. There might be some different movements that he might just need to make in the field. So we probably will get him in the slips. I still clearly remember those brilliant catches he took at Leeds in that Test match a year or so ago. He is going to be playing with pain though and it is not so much in the muscle area but in the tendon area. We are confident that unless he does something exactly like he did in the ODI, it is not that he will reinjure himself. But he is going to have some pain. And like a lot of cricketers play through different levels of pain, he is willing to take that on and hopefully it is not going to happen that much,” he added.

The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first Test in Adelaide while India registering a win in the second in Melbourne.