Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald backed Will Puckovski to bounce back strongly after recovering from a concussion. The 22-year-old has been included in Australia’s squad for last two Tests against India in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Pucovski was supposed to make his debut with the opening match of the series in Adelaide but unfortunately, he was ruled out of the first two games after being hit on the helmet during the warm-up game against India. That was the 22-year-old’s ninth concussion, not all from cricket.

McDonald talked about Puckovski history of concussions and said he has a good track record of performing after returning from concussions.

“We do know with the history that Will has had, and with my time with him at Victoria. He had a pretty good track record of performing when he has returned,” McDonald was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press (AAP).

In 2018, Pucovski scored his maiden first-class hundred just months after suffering two concussions, with only minor hits in between for a Cricket Australia XI against England.

The right hander also notched up double-centuries in his last two returns from lengthy stints out with concussions.

“I think they (the selectors) will put a bit of trust put into the player around whether he’s mentally ready. And clearly it will be up to the coach once he lays eyes on him to see where he’s at in terms of being skill ready.

“But history would suggest that he says he’s right to perform he’s done it a few times and had a good return, so (I’ll) suggest they’ll put trust into the player,” McDonald added.

Pucovski, who joins the Australian squad on Thursday night, will take part in two crucial net sessions at Melbourne before the team moves to Sydney for the third Test, starting on January 7 in Sydney.

McDonald opined that Wade’s best batting position is in the middle order, which might give chance to Pucovski to make his debut in the Sydney Test.

“Is Wade and Warner the best opening combination for us at this point in time? I think a lot of that will depend on how Will Pucovski is,” McDonald said.

“I would suggest (Wade)’s best batting position is in the middle … and that’s probably where he’s best suited.”

(With PTI Inputs)