New Delhi, Feb 6 (VOICE) Former Australian wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy reckons pacer Scott Boland should play in the first Test against India if Australia go with just two seamers in Nagpur. He added that uncapped tearaway quick Lance Morris can feature if the visitors think of fielding three seamers.
On Sunday, fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the first Test against India starting from February 9 due to a left Achilles niggle. His injury has left Australia’s plans in disarray as they are without Mitchell Starc for first Test and Cameron Green being a doubtful starter due to the all-rounder still making steps towards recovery from a fractured finger which needed surgery.
“First Test, we’ve just got Cummins. We might play two spinners or may not, which would mean we’d need Boland and Morris. If we play two quicks, I’d play Boland, if it’s three quicks then Morris gets in.”
“I don’t think we win in India by being conservative, but I think just Cummins and Morris in together only is maybe not enough. We’ve only won one Test (in India) since 2004,” said Healy on SENQ Breakfast show.
Hazlewood’s injury means Boland is in pole position to play his first Test abroad, with Morris also an option to make his Test debut in Nagpur. Boland has played six Tests for Australia since his debut in the Boxing Day Test in the Ashes at the MCG and has picked 28 wickets at an average of 12.21 and strike rate of 33.2.
“Scotty has bowled plenty at the MCG when it was a flat wicket, it probably wasn’t swinging or reverse swinging so he knows how to work hard for a long period of time.
You’ve got Lance Morris who has worked hard on reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead in here with a few sessions. The guys are excited first of all to play in the subcontinent, they both haven’t yet, but they’re very well qualified to do so,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on Sunday.
After Nagpur, India and Australia will play the next three Tests in New Delhi, Dharamshala and Ahmedabad. India are the current holders of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, having won the last three series against Australia in 2017, 2018-19 and 2020-21, while Australia last won a Test series in India in 2004.