Will Pucovski gets in a net session at the Gabba. Jono Searle/Getty Images
Will Pucovski gets in a net session at the Gabba. Jono Searle/Getty Images

Ponting pushing for Pucovski to play

RICKY Ponting knows a thing or two about what it's like to represent Australia at a young age, so when he calls Will Pucovski our "best young player" it might be time to take notice.

The former Australian captain on Wednesday described Pucovski as the best young player in Australia and called for him to make his Test debut against Sri Lanka at the Gabba starting Thursday.

"He'll be incredibly excited and I'm sure he'll be a little bit nervous as well with the lead up to what could potentially be his first Test," Ponting said.

"If Will (Pucovski) was going to play you'd like to think he would have been told by now just to give him as much time as possible to get his head around the situation that he's going to be confronted with hopefully tomorrow night.

"I actually think he plays. As soon as he was named in the squad, I thought that he would play and that they would give him an opportunity probably batting at No. 6 in these two Tests against Sri Lanka.

"He's someone who has been spoken about for a couple of years as quite clearly the best young player that we've got in Australia."

Ricky Ponting with captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer.
Ricky Ponting with captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer.

If Pucovski plays it will lead to yet another reshuffle of the Australian batting order but Ponting would keep Usman Khawaja as opener alongside Marcus Harris.

"I would open with Khawaja again, that would leave (Marnus) Labuschagne at three," Ponting said.

"I'd go with (Kurtis) Patterson at four and Travis Head at five."

Pucovski won his maiden call-up to the Test squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka after averaging 49 from his eight first-class matches for Victoria, highlighted by scores of 188 against Queensland and 243 against Western Australia.

 

Meanwhile, fellow Test hopeful Kurtis Patterson can lay claim to being one of the few batsmen with a better record with the pink ball than the red.

Drafted into Australia's squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, the 25-year-old's potential debut couldn't have come at a better time than ahead of day-night clash at the Gabba.

Two of his five first-class centuries have been in pink ball contests, including at the Gabba against Queensland in 2016.

Kurtis Patterson is hoping for a start in the first Test.
Kurtis Patterson is hoping for a start in the first Test.

That's despite having played just six first-class games against the pink ball in total, as opposed to 52 against the red.

Neither do those triple-figure scores take into account last week's twin centuries against Sri Lanka in Hobart, given the tourists' rotation of their squad meant the match wasn't given first-class status.

When including them, Patterson's haul becomes 715 runs at 65 against the pink ball, as opposed to a first-class record of 40.93 against the red.

"It's almost two separate games with the pink ball, when you're playing day and when you're playing night," Patterson said.

"Particularly if you're starting your innings at night. The ball can react completely differently to how it does in the day.

"I'm not sure how that is but obviously the wicket quickens up a bit. Bowlers' mentalities, they can get more aggressive and charge in and hit the wicket a bit harder.

"I feel like I've played enough pink ball cricket now that I can understand where I'm going with that as do the rest of the boys.

"I guess when we go out there it's just about how well we adapt and adapt to those different moments of the game and who wins those crucial key moments."

Patterson said though that the pink Kookaburra had changed significantly over time and he now expected it to provide plenty of pace and bounce in Brisbane as well as some ping off the bat.

"It's certainly (a) harder (ball)," he said.

With Scott Bailey, AAP