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Pucovski hurt his right shoulder following a heavy landing while diving on the field.

Australia face a nervous wait to see if Will Pucovski will be available for the final Test against India after injuring his shoulder following a heavy landing when he dived in the field on the final day at the SCG.*

In the 86th over of India’s innings, Pucovski was trying to intercept a shot from Hanuma Vihari at midwicket and though he briefly stayed on after being seen by the physio, he left the field at the end of the over.

He did not return for the remainder of the day and was seen wearing an ice pack on his shoulder during the final session. On Tuesday, a CA update said that Pucovski would continue his rehab over the next two days before a decision was made over his fitness.

Pucovski marked his debut with a composed 62 in the first innings, on what he termed the best day of his career, before being caught behind for 10 in the second.

Australia will also be watching how David Warner pulls up from his return to the side in Sydney where he was far from at full fitness following his groin injury. He made 5 and 13 in the match, and could not move with his usual freedom between the wickets, although he was on the field throughout India’s two innings.

“I am [nervous] and I was. It might have been a bit of different circumstances if we were 2-0 up,” Warner had told SEN Radio ahead of the final day at the SCG.

“When you’re doing a fitness test at training, it’s quite easy to get through that. But once you’re out there it is a different intensity, playing the actual game live is where you get nervous.

“I’m trying to sprint as hard as I can. It might look like I’m on a treadmill but it’s quite difficult, I’m hoping I can get through this.”

Should Australia need to make changes at the top of the order for the series decider, they have Matthew Wade, who returned to No. 5 in Sydney having opening in the first two matches, and Marcus Harris is also part of the squad. No additional players have been added.

From a bowling point of view, despite a three-day turnaround to the Gabba, Tim Paine was confident there wouldn’t be any issues for the fast bowlers. Australia have played an unchanged attack throughout the series and currently have Michael Neser and Sean Abbott in reserve. James Pattinson was not part of the squad for the third Test after injuring himself in a fall at home.

“They handle the load pretty well,” Paine said. “They know they have a rest after the Gabba and I think they enjoy bowling there, it’s a bit easier on the body, seeing the ball fly through it’s a bit easier for them mentally as well, it’s enjoyable for them up there. They’ll be fine to go.”

*5.20pm, January 12: The story was updated with information on Pucovski’s status

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Cricket

Ind vs Eng 3rd Test

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Australia will pip India to the post – and set up a final against New Zealand – if England win the fourth Test

The ten-wicket win, well inside two days, in the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad has not only given India an unassailable 2-1 lead in the four-Test series, it’s given them a clear shot at qualifying for the inaugural World Test Championship final. The result in the third Test also means that it’s now a two-horse race to meet New Zealand in the final – Australia vs India – with England’s hopes lying in tatters.



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Recent Match Report – Victoria vs NSW 13th Match 2020/21

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Short finished 80 not out with Harry Conway taking 3 for 31

Victoria 7 for 168 (Short 80*, Conway 3-31) against New South Wales

Victoria batsman Matthew Short made a fighting unbeaten 80 on a rain-interrupted day that was dominated by the New South Wales bowlers at Bankstown Oval.

The players endured multiple interruptions as the rain came and went at regular intervals in Sydney with only 61 overs bowled, but Short stood firm to guide Victoria to stumps having entered at 2 for 16.

Harry Conway picked up three wickets for the Blues as the seamers caused problems on a dark and gloomy day. Pat Cummins and Trent Copeland made the early breakthroughs before Conway took the wickets of Marcus Harris, Jake Fraser-McGurk, and Seb Gotch to leave Victoria struggling at 5 for 94.

Conway did benefit from some loose shots. Harris faced 70 balls for 29 before slicing a catch to gully while Fraser-McGurk hit a half-tracker straight to point.

Short remained patient absorbing 164 balls and striking 10 boundaries on a surface that was difficult to score on. He formed a useful partnership with Will Sutherland late in the day to frustrate the Blues and deny them a chance to wrap up the innings prior to the 7pm finish.

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne



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Recent Match Report – Mumbai vs Puducherry Elite, Group D 2020/21

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This is his second century in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy

Dropped from the Test team to sort out his technique, Prithvi Shaw, leading the Mumbai senior team for the first time in place of the rested Shreyas Iyer, struck form in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy.

On Thursday, he converted his fifth List A century into a magnificent unbeaten 227 as Mumbai amassed 457 for 4 against Puducherry in a Group D fixture in Jaipur. The total is currently the fourth-highest List A score, just short of India A’s 458 for 4 against Leicester in 2018. Incidentally, Shaw featured in that game too, where he made 132 during the course of a 221-run opening stand with Mayank Agarwal.

This makes Shaw just the eighth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (three double-hundreds), Karn Kaushal, Sanju Samson and Yashasvi Jaiswal to make a List A double century.

This was Shaw’s second century in the tournament; the previous one, an unbeaten 105, coming four days earlier in a successful chase against Delhi.

Shaw was equally well complemented by Suryakumar Yadav, who struck a 58-ball 133 during the course of a quickfire third-wicket stand of 201 that came off just 103 deliveries. Shaw batted through the innings, hitting 31 fours and five sixes. In response, Puducherry were bowled out for 224 in 38.1 overs with debutant legspinner Prashant Solanki picking five wickets.

Mumbai, who went winless in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s, currently top Group D with three wins in as many matches. Each of the group toppers qualify directly for the knockouts. Puducherry are already out of the reckoning, having lost each of their three games so far.



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