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Pucovski back in Australia academy squad

Will Pucovski is back in Australia’s calculations for India, with the Victorian young gun to form part of a development trip to the country.

Cricket Australia confirmed the return of the academy trip to Chennai next month, with Pucovski one of eight players to join the 10-day tour.

Matt Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy, who trained with Australia’s squad before the Sri Lanka Test series, will also feature, as well as Tanveer Sangha and Josh Philippe.

Opening batter Henry Hunt and under-19s stars Cooper Connolly and Teague Wyllie will also attend, as CA takes a clear eye to the future.

But it is Pucovski’s naming that is most interesting.

Yet to add to his sole Test in 2021 following repeated concussion setbacks, the batter was not picked on the A tour of Sri Lanka last month.

Australia tour India for a four-Test series next February, with Travis Head clearly out of sorts on the sub-continent and David Warner also fighting to regain his best.

The touring group will train with local players and feature in a two-day game and a one-day match as part of the trip, with national selector Tony Dodemaide acting as tour manager.

Glenn McGrath will also feature on the coaching staff, who will be headed by former Sri Lanka allrounder Thilan Samaraweera.

“It is exciting to renew the partnership with the MRF Academy and provide this group of young players a truly unique experience,” Dodemaide said in a statement.

“Some have toured the subcontinent in the past so this trip will further refine their skills while others will gain valuable new experience in these testing conditions.”

Two Indian players will train with Queensland as part of the process, with white-ball quick Chetan Sakariya and Chennai Super Kings left-armer Mukesh Choudhary to visit the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

Such player and coach exchanges had been in place for almost 20 years before being paused by the pandemic.

Legspinner Mitchell Swepson spoke earlier this month about the advantages he gained from a similar tour in 2015, saying it helped teach him how to play on the sub-continent.

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