On Saturday, Australian Test captain Patrick Cummins confirmed that fast bowler Scott Boland will make it into the final XI for the third Test against England at his home ground in Melbourne.
Boland will just be the second player with Indigenous Australian heritage to play for the men’s Test team, after Jason Gillespie.
Faith Thomas and Ashleigh Gardner have played for the women’s Test teams, while Daniel Christian, D’Arcy Short and Hannah Darlington have represented Australia in limited-overs formats.
“It’s huge,” said Cummins during his Christmas Day media appearance at the MCG. “Dizzy (Gillespie) was the first. That’s huge. In Australia, we have a rich history of 50,000 or 60,000 years, and it’s great that’s started to be reflected in our team.
“He [Boland] is really excited obviously, he’s dreamed to wear the baggy green, but also a packed MCG, Boxing Day, it doesn’t get any better.”
Reflecting on his absence from the second Test after being deemed a close contact for having dined in an Adelaide restaurant next to a positive COVID-19 case, Cummins admitted his frustration at the situation but added that watching the game from afar gave him a different perspective.
“I said to JL [Justin Langer], I’m really angry but don’t know who at. There was no one to blame. When I left the restaurant, I thought, that’s fine, I didn’t get near him, and I’ll test negative. Then it became the state rules, and you’ve got to follow them.
“When I knew I wasn’t playing I thought this would be a good chance to sit back and enjoy it as a fan then after about an hour I was quite angry, wishing I was back out there. It was interesting to listen to some of the commentary, see what the rest of Australia is seeing outside of our little bubble.”
Meanwhile, Josh Hazlewood will continue to sit out with a side injury. Australia won the Adelaide Test by 275 runs and took a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Australia XI for the third Ashes Test:
David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.