Australia captain Pat Cummins has revealed Scott Boland has retained his place for the Boxing Day Test against South Africa at the MCG as Josh Hazlewood continues to recover from side strain. Hazlewood missed the final Test against West Indies in Adelaide and the first Test against South Africa in Brisbane through injuries and apparently pulled himself pout of selection as he was not feeling 100%.
"We gave Joshy (Hazlewood) every chance, (but) it just got to a stage where (he) more than anyone else felt like he was a little bit underdone," Australia captain Pat Cummins said, according to Cricket.com.au.
"It's a mark of the man really, he himself said 'don't feel quite right' so he kind of pulled himself out of selection. We talk a lot about how (as) a team we need a squad mentality and I think it's another great example."
Incidentally, Boland, who has picked up 25 wickets from his five Tests at 10.36, made his debut at the MCG, his home ground, in the Ashes last year, where his heroic 6 for 7 against England saw his side win the Urn.
"We didn't really get to the decision point, we gave it enough time and it played out," Cummins said of the selection dilemma.
"There would have been a part of everyone that would've felt a little bit aggrieved if Scott missed out."
South Africa captain Dean Elgar too hinted at a change from his XI that was bowled out for 152 and 99 in the the Brisbane Test with Theunis de Bruyn potentially returning to the side. He further added that if the Proteas went on to make the change it would be at the cost of another batter with all his bowlers retaining his place.
"That was the chat prior to the first Test… playing the extra batter. But the little bit I can give away is our bowlers retain their spots," the Proteas captain said.
"If there is to be a change it will be amongst the batters," he added.
The decision comes after his pacers dominated Australia in the Gabba Test, but admits that his batters need to show up.
"We've always been in a good space since we've been in Australia," Elgar, who scored 3 and 2 in the first game said.
"We've just been through a bit of a hurdle in the last week – but I think both batting units have been through that. We've started afresh and we know runs on the board is key.
"We've had a few good convos but at the moment talk is cheap. Your best reference point is putting performances on the board."
A win for Australia at the G will see them win their first Test series against South Africa on home soil since 2005.SSco