Young Vic batter Pucovski on top of health

Victoria's Will Pucovski is keen to get back to playing cricket after a tough 2019-20 campaign.
Victoria's Will Pucovski is keen to get back to playing cricket after a tough 2019-20 campaign.

Victorian batting prodigy Will Pucovski holds no regrets about standing down from Australian selection when on the verge of a Test debut last summer.

The 22-year-old is in a "good space" before Victoria's Sheffield Shield opener on Friday after putting in a "mountain of work" following a rocky 2019-20 season.

Pucovski told national selectors not to consider him for last year's home Test series against Pakistan because of mental health reasons.

It was the second time in 2019 he chose to prioritise his mental health over Australian duties.

His courageous decision was wholeheartedly supported by Australia coach Justin Langer and the whole team.

But Pucovski is now in a good frame of mind despite the challenges of strict quarantine restrictions in the Shield bubble in Adelaide.

"I have no regrets over it. I sort of didn't feel like I was quite ready at the time," the talented right-hander said.

"I've done a mountain of work in the last year to try and get myself a little bit further down the line.

"I feel like I'm in a really good space now which is awesome, just in everyday life and my cricket.

"It's been an interesting year or two and it's probably hard for people to understand that aren't in the inner sanctum.

"I'm very happy with where I'm at and most of the people that matter to me are really happy with where I'm at."

Pucovski is just one of many Australian crickets recently who have spoken about their mental health battles.

Fellow Victorians Glenn Maxwell and Nic Maddinson have taken time away from cricket, as has NSW allrounder Moises Henriques.

On Wednesday, South Australia opening batsman Jake Weatherald opted to take indefinite leave from the Redbacks, citing mental health issues.

Pucovski is eager to wear the baggy green but concedes breaking into the No.1 ranked Test team will be difficult.

"It's been a dream of mine since I can remember," he said.

"From that perspective, I'm definitely very keen to put my best foot forward but it's out of my control."

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Australian Associated Press