Pacer Scott Boland will feature in the Australia playing XI for the World Test Championships (WTC) final against India, starting on Wednesday at The Oval, captain Pat Cummins confirmed on Tuesday.
Boland will be included pace of Josh Hazlewood, edging out Michael Neser, a late injury replacement to the 15-man WTC squad of Australia. Neser had been called into the Australian squad for the WTC final on Sunday after Hazlewood was ruled out of the marquee clash due to his ongoing left Achilles and left side issue.
While making the selection call on the eve of the showpiece event, Cummins did not name the complete side for the clash but expressed that there are “no surprises” in the rest of the side’s make-up.
Boland’s selection comes following a terrific record in his Test career as the pacer has scalped 28 wickets in his first seven matches, at an average of just 13.42, whichis the lowest of any Test cricketer to have sent down at least 1000 deliveries since the start of the 20th century.
Boland will now join Cummins, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon in Australia’s expected bowling attack.
The Aussie captain also acknowledged that Boland is nearing the level of the prominent trio of fast bowlers, which includes Cummins himself, Mitchell Starc, in terms of selection hierarchy.
“We’re big on kind of everyone bowling slightly differently. Scott is a seam bowler on a good length, but he just offers something slightly different to Joshy Hazlewood, and Starcy being a left-hander is a bit different,” Cummins was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“So, I don’t think there’s ever a pecking order. You think about the three guys that you want to go out and play,” he added.
“In the past here in England, because the ball does talk a little more, I’ve seen players get too caught up in trying to take wickets every ball because you’ve suddenly got the ball swinging and seaming,” said Cummins.
“Someone like Scotty (Boland), it’s just a really simple game-plan; you hit your good areas and you stay there all day and hopefully the ball will do the work for you. He’s had a few bowls over here now and has looked good. But he looks good whenever he bowls,” he added.