Sydney, Nov 15 : Former Australia captain Mark Taylor praised young opening batsman Will Pucovski for being open and honest about his mental health problems saying that Australian cricket has moved on from his playing days when acknowledgement of mental health issues was considered a sign of weakness.
Taylor also picked the right-hander in his Australia’s 13 for the first Test against India and said the Aussie team management should drop the more experienced opener Joe Burns and play the 23-year-old Pucovski alongside David Warner.
Pucovski, who was identified as potential Test cricketer at a very young age, had to take a break from cricket in October 2018 for some time to overcome mental health problems. In February 2019, he was released from the Australia squad playing Sri Lanka and allowed to work on his mental health. He, however, returned to cricket soon after. Pucovski has scored back-to-back double centuries in the two Sheffield Shield games he has played this season.
“He has been open and honest about it, right from the word go which is not always easy. I mean in the sides I have played that would have been seen as a sign of weakness. Now it is actually seen as sign of strength that yes, ‘I am not handling the mental side of the game as well as I would like. I am getting anxious. I am not enjoying the game’,” Taylor was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.
Taylor said that it took courage to take yourself away from not just the Test squad but also from the first-class squad. Pucovski took himself off from the Victorian side’s roster as well.
“He took himself away from the game not just potential Australian squads but also the Victorian squad. He took a break from it. He has now come back and I like the fact that Victorian coach Chris Rogers had a word to him and said to him bat top of the order, take over the opening spot. He has done that, made two double hundreds and he has now perfectly come out and said, ‘I now feel good. I am now enjoying my cricket. I am ready’,” added Taylor.
The former left-handed opener said that Pucovski’s openness will be an example for young cricketers.
“I think his openness and transparency with these mental health issues have helped him and is an example for young cricketers,” added Taylor.
Taylor said that Pucovski should replace Burns even though coach Justin Langer has said that he will go in with the Burns-Warner combination.
“The only person out of 12 I would pick would be Will Pucovski and leave Joe Burns out. Burns averages 38 in Test cricket, been a solid cricket player for Australia without being a great one. I think it is time to play young Pucovski. He has said he is ready. He has made two double hundreds. Pick him in the eleven because he has the potential to be the player for the next decade,” said Taylor.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.