Speedster Scott Boland has retained his place as Australia have announced their squad for the fourth Ashes Test. The Test match starts in Sydney on January 04. Usman Khawaja is the only change in the squad as he replaces Travis Head who has contracted the Covid virus. The hosts are leading the series 3-0 and are potentially looking for a 5-0 whitewash against a hapless England side.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins confirmed Boland’s retention in the playing XI. He rattled the English batting line-up in the second innings of the third test finishing with figures of 6/7.
“Scotty gets a go. Josh Hazlewood had a few bowls and Jhye Richardson a bit similar, but they were not quite up to 100 per cent. We gave Josh every chance we could, but he felt he couldn’t bowl at full tilt yesterday so we’re still hoping he will be right for the final Test in Hobart. You are not going to blast them out on this wicket” Cummins told reporters at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
The Australia bowlers have been troubled with injuries in the recent series. Josh Hazlewood played the first Test in Brisbane and since then has been ruled out due to a side strain. Jhye Richardson, who replaced him in the second Test in Adelaide has been ruled out with a back injury as well.
“There’s no secret that if Josh Hazlewood was fit he would play, but it’s a real luxury to have someone like Scotty. It would have been a shame to see him not play this week after his efforts in Melbourne last week” said Cummins.
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja is a like-for-like replacement for the left-handed Travis Head. The southpaw has unfortunately contracted the dreaded COVID virus.
Australia Include Usman Khawaja For Fourth Ashes Test
Official #Ashes Update | Pat Cummins has confirmed one change to the Australian XI for the fourth Vodafone Ashes Test in Sydney.
Batter Usman Khawaja will replace Travis Head 🇦🇺 pic.twitter.com/dR0EbWydTG
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) January 3, 2022
Joe Root’s men have an uphill task of winning the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. The side is struggling to put their best playing XI with players out of form. Their opening combination has hurt them the most consistently failing to stitch good opening stands.
Ollie Robinson has been ruled out of the fourth Test with a shoulder niggle with Stuart Broad likely to replace him in the playing XI.
Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (C), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.