Will Pucovski has learned plenty about both batting and the brain in recent years.
Pucovski is on the cusp of a Test debut, having been named in Australia’s 17-man squad for the four-match series against India.
The Victorian prodigy was in this position during each of the past two summers.
But Pucovski withdrew himself from contention a year ago to focus on mental health, while he took a mental-health break in the early stages of 2018-19 then later in that season was released from the Test squad for wellbeing reasons.
The 22-year-old has also dealt with multiple concussions throughout his career.
Pucovski, who scored consecutive double-hundreds in the Sheffield Shield hub, recently declared he had done the required “head rehab” and feels ready for the mentally-draining challenge that is Test cricket.
The young gun has learned more about concussion – and its various potential ongoing effects – than most cricketers his age.
“A lot of medical advice has been suggesting that it can play a part in some other areas of your life. Obviously getting hit in the head a lot isn’t ideal from a physical or mental perspective,” Pucovski told reporters on Friday.
“It always helps to add reason to something or understand something a little bit better.
“It was (about) understanding how the brain works and how multiple concussions can affect you. But I feel like I’ve bounced back from concussions really well in the past.
“I’ve done a lot of work in that space to try and make sure my processes are in a really good place and I’ve got a great support team around me.”
Pucovski uninstalled social-media apps on his phone this year, but it was more of a lifestyle decision than an attempt to block out the hype that comes when Ian Chappell, Michael Clarke and Kim Hughes declare you should be picked in the Test side.
“As soon as the soccer transfer window ended in Europe I didn’t really have much of a use for it,” he said.
“I’d been thinking about it for a while.
“You waste a lot of time scrolling through stuff when you can be enjoying time with your family and friends.”