Australia’s Scott Boland gets nod ahead of Michael Neser for 1st Test against South Africa | Cricket News – Times of India

MELBOURNE: Scott Boland will be Australia‘s third seamer for the series-opening Test against South Africa, with Michael Neser to make way for fit-again skipper Pat Cummins, head coach Andrew McDonald said.
While Cummins has recovered well from a quadricep injury, Josh Hazlewood will miss the Gabba Test starting on Saturday to continue recovering from his side strain. Mitchell Starc is the other member of Australia’s pace attack.
“Expect Scott to take that spot at the Gabba,” McDonald told reporters.
“His record is amazing at the moment, so he’ll take his place and the assumption is that Pat does play.”
Boland, the country’s second Indigenous Australian cricketer to play tests, has had a dream start in the longest format, taking 21 wickets in four matches at an average of 10.33.
“What’s he averaging in the second innings – four, or something ridiculous like that?” McDonald said.
“So there is an expectation now because it’s not just an outlier, it’s happening every time.”
Australia swept West Indies 2-0 to start off the home summer but expect a tough three-match series against the Proteas, their first since the 2018 tour of South Africa tainted by the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.
Both sides were sanctioned for code of conduct violations in that ill-tempered series and Australia’s opener David Warner had a heated confrontation off field with former South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock during the first Test in Durban.
Former captains Tim Paine and Faf du Plessis have dredged up the series in recently released books, while Warner’s permanent leadership ban for his role in ‘Sandpaper-gate’ remains a sore point for the opener.
McDonald said there was no ill will in the Australian dressing room, though.
“We’re not sure what’s happening inside the walls of the South African dressing room, but within the walls of ours, you wouldn’t notice any distractions,” he said.
“People are critiquing that we need to address things on the inside. We’ve moved on from that.”

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