Following their spectacular 360-run victory over Pakistan in Perth, Australia rejected the temptation to make too many changes to their squad, instead cutting their playing group from 14 to 13 for the Boxing Day Test.
Lance Morris, an uncapped pacer, has withdrawn from the camp to return to domestic T20 duty in Australia, where Australia is anticipated to field the same XI that won in Perth.
The seasoned trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and skipper Pat Cummins appear to be splitting new-ball duties in Melbourne, with only local fast Scott Boland remaining in the 13-player group.
Cameron Green, the team’s all-rounder, is still in the race, but Cummins believes it will be difficult to make any changes to the bunch that dominated in Perth.
“I don’t think injuries are going to be an issue, so I dare to say it’ll be a pretty similar line-up at this stage,” Cummins said of the XI who will play the Boxing Day Test.
“I think all of the bowlers are pretty fresh after (the Perth victory).” It’s simply the best way to start the summer.”
Marnus Labuschagne, the ace batter who was injured during the first Test against Pakistan, has been cleared of any severe finger damage and is expected to play in Melbourne.
Australia is presently fifth in the World Test Championship rankings, with a 41.67 win-loss percentage, while Pakistan is first, tied with India, with a 66.67 percentage.
Australia’s team consists of Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitch Starc, and David Warner.