London, June 6 Australian captain Pat Cummins on Tuesday confirmed that fast bowler Scott Boland will be a part of the their playing XI for the World Test Championships (WTC) final against India, starting on Wednesday at The Oval.
Boland will pace in place of Josh Hazlewood, edging out Michael Neser, a late injury replacement to the 15-man WTC squad. Neser had been called into the Australian squad for the WTC final on Sunday after Hazlewood was ruled out of the marquee match due to his ongoing left Achilles and left side issue.
Australia made the selection call on Tuesday and while Cummins did not name the complete side for the final, he expressed to reporters that there are “no surprises” in the rest of the side’s make-up.
Boland’s selection comes off the back of a supreme record of his Test career, taking 28 wickets in his first seven matches, at an average of just 13.42. He will join Cummins, Cameron Green, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon in Australia’s expected bowling attack.
His average of 13.42 is the lowest of any Test cricketer to have sent down at least 1000 deliveries since the start of the 20th century.
The Australian skipper 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.
Boland is likely to be one of only two Australians featuring in their first international matches in England after Cameron Green. The 34-year-old’s only experience in the UK comes from a tour in 2018 with the Australian Indigenous side.
But Cummins insisted that there is no need for the pacer to alter his bowling style, which has established him as a dominant force in home conditions.
“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.
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