Scott Boland to make debut in Ashes Boxing Day Test against England

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Victorian paceman Scott Boland will make his Test debut on his home track after being named in Australia’s side for the Boxing Day match.

Boland was added to Australia’s Ashes squad earlier this week, with several bowlers struggling with fitness.

Josh Hazelwood was already ruled out, with Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser not being picked for the Test due to soreness.

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The omissions allow Boland to make his debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as Australia tries to wrap up the Ashes.

Australia captain Pat Cummins returns to the side, after missing the Adelaide Test because he was a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

“Jhye and Nes were a little bit sore after Adelaide so we’ve decided to go with Scotty,” Cummins said.

“It’s a luxury to have someone like him, fresh and ready to go.”

Boland will become the second Indigenous man to play Test cricket for Australia after Jason Gillespie.

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Australia leads the five-match Ashes series over England 2-0 and can wrap up the contest with a win at the MCG while a draw will be good enough to retain the urn.

England have made four changes to their side for the must-win clash.

Opener Rory Burns and paceman Stuart Broad have been dropped, along with Ollie Pope and Chris Woakes.

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Bowlers Mark Wood and Jack Leach will return to the XI, while Zak Crawley and Jonathan Bairstow will play their first Tests in this series.

England also confirmed Jos Buttler will continue as wicketkeeper, rather than Bairstow taking over the gloves.

Australia XI

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

England XI

  • Joe Root
  • Haseeb Hameed
  • Zak Crawley
  • Dawid Malan
  • Ben Stokes
  • Johnny Bairstow
  • Jos Butler (wicketkeeper)
  • Mark Wood
  • Ollie Robinson
  • Jack Leach
  • James Anderson

AAP/ABC



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