Australia captain Pat Cummins has confirmed his team’s playing XI that will take the field in the first Test against the West Indies in Perth on Wednesday, November 30.
Scott Boland, who was the star performer for Australia during the Ashes this year, couldn’t find a place in the starting XI as Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood complete the three-man pace attack.
Among the batters, veteran opener David Warner and Usman Khawaja remain at the top, with left-hander Marcus Harris missing out despite being called up for the two-match series.
Australia is all set to host West Indies for a two-match Test series starting November 30 at the Optus Stadium in Perth. Ahead of the first contest, Australian skipper Pat Cummins revealed the playing combination of his side that will take on West Indies on these shores for the first time in seven years. While the Australian lineup looks strong, one name that missed out was Scott Boland.
Boland, who was the match hero for Australia during the Ashes this year, has been left out of the starting lineup as Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and skipper Pat Cummins complete Australia’s three-man pace attack. Apart from Boland’s exclusion, Australia have not made any major changes to their playing combination as compared to the lineup that competed against Sri Lanka in their previous Test.
“You probably could have picked it 12 months ago. Everyone has done well to get them fit and firing for this series and we’re in a really good place. Easy decision,” Cummins was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia.
After Australia’s disheartening loss to Sri Lanka in Galle in July, veteran seamer Josh Hazlewood made his way back into the lineup, replacing backup spinner Mitchell Swepson. In that game, Swepson recorded figures of 3/103, however, the 29-year-old was not included in the squad for the West Indies series because Australia went back to their regular composition of three seamers and one spinner.
Queensland Bulls pair Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and South Australian duo Travis Head and wicketkeeper Alex Carey as well as Lyon have all played Sheffield Shield cricket in the build-up to the Test summer.
Perth Weather forecast
Wednesday: 35, partly cloudy (0% chance)
Thursday, 25, partly cloudy (10% chance)
Friday: 27, cloud clearing (0% chance)
Saturday: 29, mostly sunny (5% chance)
Sunday: 30, mostly sunny (10% chance)
Six players – Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc, Warner, Smith and Green – were part of Australia’s World Cup campaign but Cummins insisted he had not found it overly difficult to adjust between formats despite a lack of long-form preparation.
The 29-year-old has only had three training sessions with the red ball and conceded he was a little “underdone”, but stressed he is experienced enough to make a smooth transition.
“I had one (net session) in Sydney a couple of weeks ago and then and then two in the last couple of days, so it’s been really good,” he said.
“Centre wicket out there at the WACA (on Monday). Bowled about 10 overs out there one day, five or six the next and I think the more I play, the less I feel like I need to have in terms of getting ready.+