The Ashes: Australia name unchanged squad for rest of the series

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20 Dec 2021 | 06:20 AM
authorcricket.com staff

The Ashes: Australia name unchanged squad for rest of the series

Skipper Pat Cummins and fellow quick Josh Hazlewood are in line to return for the Boxing Day Test, while Marcus Harris retains his place

Australia have named an unchanged 15-man squad for the remainder of the Ashes Tests, with skipper Pat Cummins and fellow fast bowler Josh Hazlewood in line to return to the XI for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

Cummins missed out as he was close contact with a Covid-19 patient while a side strain ruled Hazlewood out of the day-night Test in Adelaide. Cummins' absence paved way for Steven Smith to lead Australia once again, while Travis Head was named his deputy.

While Jhye Richardson and debutant Michael Neser have been impressive, they may have to make way for the senior bowlers. Uncapped fast bowlers Scott Boland and Mark Steketee, who were flown in as cover after Cummins' last-minute withdrawal from the Adelaide Test have not been retained.

Opening batter Marcus Harris, who has had an underwhelming series so far has retained his place, while Usman Khawaja remains the only reserve batter in the side.

Will be interesting to see if Mitchell Swepson is drafted into the side if Australia were to go 3-0 up in Melbourne. He has been the No. 2 spin bowling option for Australia for some time now, but given Nathan Lyon's prowess, he has not been able to make his Test bow yet.

The fourth Test at Sydney could see Swepson team up with Lyon, given that it is the most spin-friendly wicket in Australia. However, the hosts have not played two spinners in the XI in Sydney since 2016, when Steve O'Keefe bowled alongside Lyon.

Australia lead the series 1-0 thanks to an emphatic win in Brisbane and are also closing in on a victory in the second Test in Adelaide.

Australia squad for remainder of Ashes: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

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Australia vs EnglandEngland tour of Australia, 2021/22AustraliaPat Cummins

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