MELBOURNE: Australia added fast bowler Scott Boland to their squad for the potentially Ashes-clinching Boxing Day Test against England starting on Sunday in Melbourne amid concerns over Mitchell Starc’s fitness after he tweaked his back in the second match.
Starc sustained the injury while batting in Adelaide but still claimed six wickets in the pink ball contest to help Australia prevail by 275 runs and go 2-0 ahead in the five-match series.
“Boland has been training with the team in Adelaide and joins the squad while the medical team assesses the fast bowling group following the second Test victory,” Cricket Australia said in a statement on Tuesday.
Boland, who has played 14 one-dayers and three Twenty20 Internationals, has been in strong form for Victoria this summer in Australia with 15 wickets from two matches against New South Wales.
Australia were without Pat Cummins for the Adelaide test after the skipper was ruled out for being a close contact of a Covid-19 case, while fellow quick Josh Hazlewood was sidelined by a side strain sustained in the series opener in Brisbane.
Both return to the squad on Thursday ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Squad: Pat Cummins (capt), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner