Cricket-Australia's Cummins confirms Boland to play WTC final v India

  • Cricket
  • Tuesday, 06 Jun 2023

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes - Third Test - Australia v England - Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia - December 28, 2021 Australia's Scott Boland celebrates taking the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Australia captain Pat Cummins confirmed fellow fast bowler Scott Boland will play the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India beginning at The Oval on Wednesday.

Australia had added Michael Neser to their 15-man squad after Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the one-off contest with a side strain and an Achilles issue.

The Australia skipper said picking Boland ahead of Neser as the third pacer, behind Cummins and Mitchell Starc, was "no surprise" considering the variety the Victorian offered.

"We're big on everyone bowling slightly differently," Cummins told reporters on the eve of the match.

"Scotty 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 bit different.

"I don't think there's ever a pecking order. You think about the three guys that you want to go out and play."

For Boland, who has 28 wickets from seven tests with an extraordinary average of 13.42, it would be his first test in England.

Boland experienced English conditions on a tour with an Indigenous team of cricketers in 2018 and Cummins said he was convinced the 34-year-old would not need to overhaul his bowling approach to succeed.

"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," Cummins said.

"Someone like Scotty, 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."

Seam-bowling all-rounder Cameron Green and off-spinner Nathan Lyon complete Australia's formidable attack.

Cummins acknowledged they would need to carefully manage Green's bowling workload especially as the all-rounder switches format following his T20 stint in the recent Indian Premier League.

"Greeny is available, he is fit, but it is probably not in our interest to burn him and put 40 overs into him in a game, which is a conversation we have pretty much before every test match, and he has never really red-lined so far."

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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