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Aussies drop Boxing Day selection bombshell



According to the Daily Telegraph, Victorian fast bowler Scott Boland is set to make his Test debut at his home ground the MCG. Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.The 32-year-old was only brought into Ashes squad on Monday and many expected him just to a back-up option for Australia’s pace attack. With captain Pat Cummins returning to the line-up and Mitchell Starc guaranteed to play in Melbourne, that left one fast bowling spot up for grabs. Hazlewood, who missed the second Test with a side strain, was all but ruled out of contention after he was limited to run-throughs and didn’t bowl in Australia’s net session on Christmas Eve. It now appears Boland has won the race for his spot as an MCG specialist, which would be one of the more left-field selection calls by Australia in recent years. It would be a huge snub for Richardson, who is in excellent form after claiming his maiden five-wicket haul in the second innings of the second Test at the Adelaide Oval. However, selectors are taking a cautious approach with Richardson and Michael Neser, and are wary of the short back-up from the Adelaide Test. Boland has been in superb form for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield, claiming 15 wickets from two matches at an average of 10.80. He has a sensational record at the MCG in particular, which has proved a notoriously difficult ground for bowlers to get batsmen out in recent years. The MCG Boxing Day Test in the 2017-18 Ashes series ended in a draw. If he is selected, Boland would become the second Indigenous players to play men’s Test cricket for Australia after Jason Gillespie. He has played 14 ODIs for and three T20 Internationals for Australia, making his debut in national colours back in 2016. The third Ashes Test between Australia and England gets underway at the MCG on Sunday, with the first ball scheduled for 10.30am AEDT. Australia leads the series 2-0.

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