MCG expert: Scott Boland to debut on Boxing Day

Scott Boland’s MCG expertise has won him a place in Australia’s Boxing Day XI for the third Ashes Test.

Captain Pat Cummins confirmed the decision on Christmas morning, as he too comes into the team after missing the Adelaide Test as a COVID-19 close contact.

Scott Boland will play in the Boxing Day Test.Credit:Getty Images

Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser drop out of the side after their exertions with the pink ball, as Australia take no chances on the fitness of their bowlers – Josh Hazlewood will return from a side strain for the fourth Test in Sydney at the earliest.

Boland’s outstanding displays at the MCG for Victoria, including match figures of 8-89 against New South Wales in the only Sheffield Shield match at the ground this season, have deemed him a safe choice for selectors as they seek to seal the Ashes in a bare minimum three matches for the third home series in a row.

In a significant moment for Australian cricket’s diversity, Boland will become the second Aboriginal cricketer in the men’s Test team after Jason Gillespie. Aunty Faith Thomas and Ash Gardner have both played Test cricket for the women's team.

The Johnny Mullagh Medal, awarded to the player of the match in Melbourne in recognition of the Aboriginal First XI who played at the MCG on Boxing Day in 1866 and later toured England, will be presented by Belinda Duarte, a descendant of Dick-a-Dick, one of Mullagh’s teammates.

More to come

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