Australia Pacer Scott Boland set for debut

England makes four changes

Australia has illustrated the depth of its fast bowling stocks by handing Scott Boland a debut in the third Ashes Test against England, which starts at the MCG here on Sunday.

The 32-year-old will become the first indigenous Australian Test player since Jason Gillespie featured in his last match in 2006.

Boland came into the squad on Monday as pace-bowling cover with Josh Hazlewood sidelined by a side strain and Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser suffering the after-effects of playing in the second Test in Adelaide.

“Jhye and Nes were a little bit sore after Adelaide. So we’ve decided to go with Scotty,” said captain Pat Cummins, who missed the second Test after being adjudged a close contact of a COVID-19 case but returns to the side for the Boxing Day contest. “It’s a luxury to have someone like him, fresh and ready to go.”

England made four changes to the side that lost the second Test as it bids to keep the Ashes series alive, recalling fast bowler Mark Wood and spinner Jack Leach at the expense of Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes. Batters Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley will feature for the first time this series, replacing Rory Burns and Ollie Pope.

Australia leads the five-match series 2-0.

The teams: Australia: Pat Cummins (Capt.), David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland.

England: Joe Root (Capt.), Haseeb Hameed, Zac Crawley, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson.

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