Cummins ruled out of 2nd test, Boland recalled for Australia
ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — An injury to Pat Cummins has forced Australia to recall Scott Boland to the pace attack and return Steve Smith to the captaincy for the second cricket test against West Indies in Adelaide.
Cricket Australia released a statement Wednesday saying Cummins hadn’t had enough time to recover from the upper leg injury he sustained in the 164-run win in Perth last week but he was expected to be fit for Australia’s first test against South Africa in Brisbane next week.
Boland will join Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc in Australia’s pace attack for the second test in Adelaide starting Thursday.
Smith, who scored an unbeaten 200 in the first innings in Pertth, said he didn’t think Cummins was far away from returning to fitness.
“With what’s coming up with a big series against South Africa and tests in India, there is a lot of cricket,” Smith said. “It would have been a risky decision to continue going” with Cummins leading the bowling.
Cummins missed the Adelaide test against England last year because of COVID-19 restrictions, with Smith also leading the team on that occasion and returning as skipper for the first time since he was banned following a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018.
Smith returned to the test team in 2019 as a specialist batter after a 12-month suspension and has been eased back into leadership roles. He has played 88 test matches, including 35 as captain, and averages 61.62 with the bat.
“There’s a bit more time to prepare for this game than last year, that was chaotic,” Smith said. “I’m pretty chilled, I took over the game here last year and it went pretty smoothly.”
The 33-year-old Boland took 18 wickets in three tests against England last year, averaging 9.55 per wicket.
The West Indies have been struggling with injuries, with allrounder Raymon Reifer ruled out before the series and batter Nkrumah Bonner replaced under the concussion protocols during he first test.
The West Indies are hoping fast bowler Kemar Roach will recover from a left thigh strain in time for the second test.
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