The Ashes: Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in line to return as Australia name unchanged squad for third Test


Captain Pat Cummins and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood have been included in an unchanged 15-man Australia squad for the third Ashes Test; the pair missed the day-night Test in Adelaide but are in line to return at the MCG on Boxing Day

Last Updated: 20/12/21 6:20am

Australia captain Pat Cummins set to return for Melbourne Test after being named in unchanged squad

Australia have named an unchanged squad for the third Ashes Test with captain Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood set to return in Melbourne.

The fast bowling duo missed the day-night Test in Adelaide with Hazlewood nursing a side strain sustained during the series opener in Brisbane while Cummins was a late omission after being deemed a close contact of a positive Covid case.

Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser were drafted into the XI for the pink-ball clash in South Australia and would be expected to drop out again if Cummins and Hazlewood, who have 386 Test wickets between them, are available.

That would mean Australia reverting to the side that won the first Test in Brisbane so convincingly.

Josh Hazlewood missed the second Test with a side strain

Josh Hazlewood missed the second Test with a side strain

Opener Marcus Harris retains his place despite a top-score of 23 in four innings in the series to date. Usman Khawaja is the spare batter in the squad and has opened the batting in Test cricket, notching a fifty and a hundred in the four innings in which he has done so on home soil, so does provide an alternative.

The third Test at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground begins on Boxing Day and victory for the home side would see them retain the urn.

Australia squad for third Test: Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey (wk), 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





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