Khawaja gets his chance as Pat Cummins confirms Australia’s XI for Sydney’s Ashes Test

Australia has made just one change to its lineup that defeated England inside three days at the MCG with Usman Khawaja brought in to replace Travis Head who contracted COVID-19.

There was some speculation that Australia might consider playing two spinners at the Sydney Cricket Ground but Cummins confirmed that Mitchell Swepson won’t play alongside Nathan Lyon. It means Scott Boland has kept his place in the team after a man-of-the-match performance on debut.

The decision was made easier with fast bowler Josh Hazlewood still not quite right to return to the side from injury.

“I spent about five years sitting on one Test and I hated it when people talked about it because I felt I hadn’t proven anything,” Pat Cummins told reporters when asked about Boland.

“It’s just great. He’s bowling as well as he ever has. It’s just great he can keep going from last week and have another crack here.”

Jhye Richardson is also still battling an injury.

“Josh and Jhye are just not quite up to 100 per cent. We gave Joshy every chance we could but he felt like he couldn’t quite bowl at full tilt yesterday,” Cummins said.

“We still hope he will be alright for Hobart, we’ll just give him another week. So Scotty comes straight in.”

For Khawaja it’s a massive opportunity to prove once again he belongs at Test level.

The 35-year-old hasn’t played a Test since the 2019 Ashes series. He averages 40.66 in Test cricket with 8 centuries.

Australia’s XI for the 4th Test in Sydney
Marcus Harris
David Warner
Marnus Labuschagne
Steve Smith (vc)
Usman Khawaja
Cameron Green
Alex Carey (wk)
Pat Cummins (c)
Mitchell Starc
Scott Boland
Nathan Lyon

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