Australia named their 13-player squad for the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan in Melbourne after going one up in the three-match series. The World Test Championship holders have decided to go against the urge to trifle with their squad that walked away with a thumping 360-run victory in Perth on Sunday. This time instead of naming a 14-player squad, Australia decided to leave one player behind. Uncapped speedster Lance Morris dropped out of the squad to return to domestic duties.
In his absence, the experienced pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and skipper Pat Cummins are likely to lead the attack while Scott Boland’s presence could further add another option should Australia decide to tinker their playing XI.
Young all-rounder Cameroon Green is another player who is running in contention to feature in the playing XI, but skipper Pat Cummins feels it is hard to force any changes in the squad.
“I don’t think injuries are going to be an issue, so I dare say it will be a pretty similar line-up at this stage. I think all the bowlers are pretty fresh after (the win in Perth). It’s basically the ideal start to the summer,” Cummins said of the XI who will play in the Boxing Day Test (December 26) as quoted from ICC.
The only injury concern that Australia had after the first Test was of star batter Marnus Labuschagne. On Day 3 of the 1st Test, Pakistan debutant Khurram Shahzad hit the right-handed batter on the finger of his right hand with a rearing delivery that jumped off a length. Labuschagne sought medical assistance right away but returned to batting after a few minutes.
But he is expected to get fit in time for the 2nd Test match on December 26.
Coming to the changes in the World Test Championship table after the 1st test, Australia is currently fifth on the WTC standings with a 41.67 win-loss percentage, while Pakistan are tied at the top with India with a 66.67 percentage.
Australia squad:Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, David Warner.
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