2021-22 Ashes Series: Cricket Australia (CA) has named Victoria fast bowler Scott Boland to the Australia squad for the Boxing Day test in Melbourne.
The development takes place following some injury concerns of the bowlers in the Australian fast bowling unit. Josh Hazlewood had missed the Adelaide Test due to the side strain, while Mitchell Starc had some stiffness in his back while bowling during the 2nd Test. Skipper Pat Cummins had also missed the 2nd Test because of coming in contact with a COVID-19 case.
CA had named Jhye Richardson and Michael Nesser as the respective replacements of Cummins and Hazlewood and both of them performed well in the Adelaide Test. Cummins will however return for the Boxing Day Test probably making exit for Michael Nesser.
Jhye Richardson impressed the selectors and team management with his match-winning five-wicket haul in the second innings during the Adelaide Test. He averages 22.09 in three Tests and that makes his contention for the regular backup in the Test team.
The return of Hazlewood is still doubtful for the Boxing Day Test considering the severity of his injury, therefore, clouding the chances of his return for the rest of the series. The 32-year-old Boland had made his debut for Victoria in 2011-12 and was also a part of the Australian team for West Indies, Sri Lanka, and South Africa ODI and T20 teams in 2016.
“Boland has been training with the team in Adelaide and joins the squad while the medical team assesses the fast bowling group following the second Test victory,” Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement.
Success in domestic cricket
The right-arm pacer became the Marsh Sheffield Shield player of the year in 2018-19 following 15 wickets from 2 matches against New South Wales. The Australian team could bank on his experience as he is considered a specialist in Melbourne conditions.
Meanwhile, Australia is leading with 2-0 in the five-match 2021-22 Ashes series. Considering Hazlewood’s exclusion for the Melbourne Test, the team management could work on a combination of teams for managing the workload for the Boxing Day test which will get underway from December 26.