After having already clinched the Ashes series and with an eye on a probable clean sweep as well as the World Test Championship points, Australia will head into the fourth Ashes Test with nothing but victory in mind. The Pat Cummins-led side announced their Playing XI for the Sydney Test set to commence on January 5.
Although they have clearly been the better side and the results have been there for everyone to see, there were some selection decisions that needed to be made especially in the bowling department. While Jhye Richardson and Scott Boland have taken fifers, Michael Neser also bowled well in Adelaide Test. In addition, Josh Hazlewood was also available for selection.
However, it has now been confirmed that Josh Hazlewood will miss the game whereas Boland has retained his place in the side after an impressive performance on his debut Test.
"It’s no secret that if Joshy Hazlewood was available then he was going to play," Cummins said at a press conference ahead of the fourth Test.
"We gave Josh every chance we could, just felt like he couldn’t bowl at full tilt yesterday. We’re still hoping he’ll be right for Hobart," he added.
In addition, Usman Khawaja has replaced Travis Head in the XI after the latter got infected with COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Joe Root led England side also confirmed their Playing XI for the Sydney Test as they look to salvage some pride after a horror show in the series so far, effectively losing the five-match series in 12 days after 14 days of quarantine. Veteran fast bowler Stuart Broad has replaced Ollie Robinson in their XI, while the same batting order has been backed to deliver.
It is being reported that both Broad and Chris Woakes are nursing shoulder niggles and should be available for selection for the final Test match.
Australia’s XI for Sydney Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland
England's XI for Syndey Test: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson