London [UK], June 6 (ANI): Right-arm fast-medium bowler Scott Boland has been given the big responsibility to fill the gap of injured Josh Hazlewood in the Australian Playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India starting from Wednesday at the Ovals in London.
Australian captain Pat Cummins confirmed that Scott would be given preference over Michael Neser in the final side.
"We're big on kind of everyone bowling slightly differently, Scott is a seam bowler on a good length, but he just offers something slightly different to Joshy Hazlewood, and Starcy being a left hander is bit different. So I don't think there's ever a pecking order. You think about the three guys that you want to go out and play," Cummins said as quoted by cricket.com.au.
Australia will face India in the ICC World Test Championship final at The Oval, starting on June 7. And after the ultimate test, they will start their Ashes series stint from June 16.
The 34-year-old Boland has taken 28 wickets in seven Tests since a stunning debut against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 2021 and now looms as a key weapon for Australia in the WTC final against India.
While Boland is yet to play a Test in England conditions and went wicketless in his only five-day clash with India in Nagpur, the right-arm pacer was optimistic that he will have the opportunity to play a part in the UK over the coming months.
"That's the luxury of having bench strength," he said. "'Hoff' (Hazlewood) was really close to being available for this one so he'll be available for the first (Ashes) Test. Ness' (Neser), you see how well he's been doing in county cricket, Sean Abbott's here, so I'm sure we'll be calling on a lot of resources. You don't want to finish off a Test match with something (left) in the tank knowing that you've got other guys fresh that you could bring in a few days later," the Australian captain added.
Earlier, Cricket Australia had announced Michael Neser as a replacement for Josh Hazlewood who has been ruled out of the ICC World Test Championship final against India due to injury.
Likely Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott BolandAustralia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David WarnerIndia squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishan Kishan (wk), KS Bharat (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat. (ANI)