Will Pucovski won’t get a chance to show Australia his true talent just yet.
Will Pucovski won’t get a chance to show Australia his true talent just yet.

Warne: Aussies blow headstart on Ashes planning

Australia has missed a trick by not picking Will Pucovski to make his debut at the Gabba on Thursday. I am very disappointed.

Pucovski is a quality young player and this was a chance for Australia to build its Test team of the future around him and newcomer Kurtis Patterson.

Australia has always thrown youngsters in and this was a perfect opportunity to do so again.

I applauded the initial decision to bring Pucovski into the squad alongside Patterson and fast bowler Jhye Richardson, as Australia works its way back to being a force in Test cricket and heads up the rankings.

All three youngsters should have made their debut against Sri Lanka. Instead only two of them will.

This series is significant because it's Australia's final two Test matches before the Ashes series in England.

Even though there is a World Cup in between, these contests against Sri Lanka will have a big bearing on the team for that first Ashes Test.

With David Warner and Steve Smith coming back, if Pucovski and Patterson scored runs against Sri Lanka, then you've got four definite starters against England - plus the impressive Marcus Harris.

Then there would have been only one batting spot left to fill between Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis - so a big hundred will ­secure the sixth batting spot.

I think Stoinis will be in the mix for the Ashes at No.6, so runs are the order of the day for Khawaja and Head.


Why I like Patto

Kurtis Patterson, 25, has been rewarded for good form. We've been saying it all summer: anyone performing in domestic cricket is the closest they've ever come to playing for Australia.

You make hundreds and you'll play for Australia, it is as simple as that.

With back-to-back hundreds against Sri Lanka for the Cricket Australia XI, he's been rewarded with a late call-up to the Test squad. This proves the selectors are desperate for players to make hundreds.

The message is loud and clear, and you don't have to be Einstein to work it out.

No communication is requi­red, make some bloody hundreds and you'll get a game - it's pretty simple.


Shane Warne is a big fan of Kurtis Patterson.
Shane Warne is a big fan of Kurtis Patterson.


Where there's a will


All of Bayside, where I grew up, will be disappointed that they won't get to cheer for Pucovski in this match

He went to school with my son and everyone from this area is hoping he does well.

Australia has always had a history of getting young players in who have shown signs they can play.

From Doug Walters to Ricky Ponting, the list goes on.

We're a country that likes to get them in - let's not make them wait, just get them in.

I'm really excited to see ­Pucovski bat in a Test.

We went back to Adam Voges and experienced players for a while, and it's been a long time since a 20-year-old was picked to play for Australia.


Why Jye is the right choice

The length Jhye Richardson bowls is suited to Test cricket.

He swings the ball and has got some really good pace, but, above all, it is his attitude I ­really like.

He's got great body language, his intensity is really good and I think that will be infectious around the group.

Victorians Chris Tremain and Scott Boland are very stiff to miss out.

They have been in terrific form and are right up there in the Sheffield Shield leading wicket-takers.

Boland leads the way this summer with 36 wickets and Tremain is second with 28 after topping the list last year.

But Richardson is equal third with 27 and I think the selectors are looking forward to the Ashes by picking him.

Because of the way he bowls he could be very successful with a Dukes ball in English conditions. It is a good selection, but I do think Boland will be on the plane for the Ashes.


Shane watrne says Jhye Richardson is a selection with the Ashes in miind.
Shane watrne says Jhye Richardson is a selection with the Ashes in miind.

Starc can cash in

This is a golden chance for Mitchell Starc to get some wickets and some confidence after what has been a pretty ­ordinary summer.

Bowling under lights and with a pink ball against a struggling Sri Lanka could be just the tonic - it's going to swing and I'm not sure how its batsmen will handle that on the fastest pitch in Australia.

It's not about the number of wickets for Starc - it's just about bowling well, and if he does he'll take wickets because of the conditions.

He has been disappointing this summer, and he'll be disappointed by his own form.

Let's hope he blasts Sri Lanka's top order away.

It'll be interesting to see who Tim Paine decides to give the new ball to. Pat Cummins probably ­deserves it the way he has been bowling but I just wonder if Richardson will get it because of the swing he gets with the new rock.