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Following the commanding win over West Indies in the two-match Test series, Australia now lock horns with South Africa in a three-match Test series. Australia head coach Andrew McDonald has opined that there is a strong possibility of pacer Scott Boland playing in the first Test match against the Proteas.
Boland was included in the playing XI against West Indies as a late replacement for skipper Pat Cummins, who remained on the sidelines for the second Test due to an injury. Now, head coach McDonald has strongly hinted at the inclusion of the pacer to play as a third seamer in the first red-ball match against Proteas.
“Expecting Scott to take that spot at the Gabba. That’s the running line, and he’s done nothing wrong. His record is amazing at the moment, so he’ll take his place and the assumption is that Pat does play. So, you’ve got Cummins, Starc, and Boland, with (all-rounder Cameron) Green and (spinner Nathan) Lyon to support around that,” told the head coach to the reporters ahead of the Test match against South Africa.
Rotation wasn’t by design nor has it been this early in the summer: Andrew McDonald
The head coach further stressed the need to rotate the pacers adding that the side would have chopped and changed pacers to address injury concerns even if there were no forced changes.
“It’s an arduous task, probably a little bit tougher for the players to manage their way through summer. We’ve already seen we’ve had some casualties early on in the summer. It’s just a reality, the games keep coming. Last year it was Covid and injuries as well, so rotation wasn’t by design nor has it been this early in the summer. It’s something that is forced upon us. Would we have the same mentality if we were all fully fit? Yeah, potentially,” added McDonald.
Both Australia and South Africa are in contention for a spot in the summit clash of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23. While the Aussies stand first in the points table, South Africa face threats from team India for the second spot in the table. An interesting clash awaits as it remains to be seen what transpires in the three-match red-ball series.
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