The Ashes: Scott Boland to become second Indigenous man to play Test cricket for Australia, debuts at MCG | Cricket News

Boland will become the fourth Indigenous Australian cricketer, after Jason Gillespie, Faith Thomas and Ashleigh Gardner; the stapler enters the Boxing Day Ashes Test with Josh Hazlewood still out and Jhye Richardson sustaining a minor leg injury; Captain Pat Cummins returns to MCG

Last updated: 25/12/21 6:34


Scott Boland will become fourth Australian Indigenous Test cricketer when he makes his debut against England at the MCG

Scott Boland will become the fourth Indigenous Australian to play Test cricket after debuting for the Boxing Day Ashes clash against England in Melbourne.

The 32-year-old bowler was given his chance with Josh Hazlewood still sidelined by the lateral effort that knocked him out of the second test in Adelaide and Jhye Richardson sustained a minor leg injury.

David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (Sept.), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland

Boland will follow in the footsteps of Jason Gillespie – the only indigenous man to play Test cricket for Australia – as well as Ashleigh Gardner and Faith Thomas, who played Test for Australia Women.

Boland has scored 272 wickets and averaged 26.03 in 79 first-class games, including 15 in just two games in this season’s Sheffield Shield for Victoria.

    Josh Hazlewood remains on the bench with a side strain

Josh Hazlewood remains on the bench with a side strain

Australia captain Pat Cummins – whose return from Covid-19 isolation sees fast bowling partner Michael Neser step down for a rest period – said of Boland’s inclusion: “It’s huge. Australia has a rich history and it’s great that it’s starting to reflect in our team.

“It’s a dream to wear Baggy Green, but a full, 70,000 inch MCG on Boxing Day – it doesn’t get any better.”

Boland – who played 14 one-day internationals and three T20 internationals for Australia in 2016 – will make his home turf debut, where he won 96 wickets at 25.56 in 27 first-class matches.

The striker will join Cummins, Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green in the home team’s speed bout, with Starc able to play despite retouching his rib in the second test.

Pat Cummins is back to lead Australia in Melbourne after missing the Adelaide Test due to Covid isolation

Pat Cummins is back to lead Australia in Melbourne after missing the Adelaide Test due to Covid isolation

The Ashes holders in Australia lead the five-game series 2-0 after winning 275 points in Adelaide last time and will keep the pot if they avoid defeat in Melbourne.

Cummins added: “Jhye [Richardson] and Nes [Neser] I’m a little sore after Adelaide, so we made the decision to bring Scotty – it’s a luxury to have someone like him ready to go and he’s fresh and excited to have his chance.

“We think he is really suitable here and his record speaks for itself in home cricket. He is his home ground and having some like him fresh, who can perform right away, were the main factors.

“His pace stays high, he’s always with you, he plays really well with lefties. He asks a lot of questions around that fourth strain and gets a little bit of nibble in every direction. He’s really suited here.”

Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (Sept.), Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson

Cummins skipped the second test after eating alongside a fan who later tested positive for Covid-19 but will return to Melbourne and rejoin Steve Smith’s captaincy.

The fast pitcher added: “It’s been five or six years since I lost an Australian home test, so I thought it would be a good chance to sit back and enjoy it as a fan.

“After about an hour I was pretty angry, I wish I was out there again, but it was a different perspective, hear the comments and see what the rest of Australia sees.

“It was just one of those things, nobody did anything wrong. The poor guy just flew to Adelaide to try and enjoy a couple of days at cricket. I felt really bad for him too.”

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