Brutal twist for Scott Boland after historic debut

Scott Boland celebrates with teammates after his sixth wicket in the second half. (Photo by Darrian Traynor – CA / Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

MCG hero Scott Boland is almost certain to be dropped to the Fourth Ashes Test in Sydney despite its historic debut.

Boland was the star of the third Test for Australia, with astonishing figures of 6-7 in the second half as England were tied out for just 68.

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The Victorian equaled the world record for the fastest move with five wickets in test history, taking just 19 balls to catch five scalps.

But voters are now facing a massive headache ahead of the fourth test at SCG, where Boland is likely to be left out.

Josh Hazlewood is pushing to get fit for his home test, after returning to bowling in the Melbourne nets on Tuesday after a side load.

Jhye Richardson was rested from the Boxing Day match with soreness in his legs, but Australia plan to get him fit for Sydney after his 5-42 in Adelaide won them the second Test.

Mitchell Starc has also been named Australia’s best player this summer by captain Pat Cummins, but could be rested after playing in the first three Tests.

And while Boland was selected for the third Test due to his record at MCG, it would be one of the toughest calls in years to leave him out of Sydney.

Scott Boland, pictured here with the Johnny Muller medal, match ball and stump after the third Ashes Test.

Scott Boland poses with Johnny Muller medal, match ball and stump after the third Ashes Test. (Photo by Daniel Pockett – CA / Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Mitch Swepson ready for shock debut in Sydney Test?

The complicated matter is that Cummins on Tuesday admitted that Australia are considering bloody leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson if the SCG pitch is likely to offer a turn.

Theoretically, this means that Hazlewood, Richardson, Starc and Boland will have to fit in either one or two places as Australia’s fast alongside the Cummins, depending on whether voters choose to play another spinner.

“It’s one of those good days where I, as captain, can definitely say I’m not a picker,” Cummins said.

“Because good luck to them. I thought it was a really brave call from the voters to pick up Scotty (to Melbourne). Full credit to them, they made the right call.

“Jhye will hopefully be available, Joshy will hopefully be available. We still have Michael Neser here in the squad.

“It could be a spinning track and you have Mitchell Swepson to bowl beautifully. It’s a luxury at the moment.”

Mitch Swepson, pictured in action for Australia A against England Lions.

Mitch Swepson in action for Australia A against England Lions. (Photo by Peter Wallis / Getty Images)

Cameron Green’s growth this summer also plays into Swepson’s hands as the first front – line player to play for Australia since Steve Smith in 2010.

Green has averaged 11 with the ball, taken seven wickets and often claimed big scalps like Joe Root.

If voters choose to play two spinners, they can safely rely on Green as the third stitch.

There may also be an added benefit to playing Swepson, as Australia has test series in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India over the next 18 months.

“If Swepson debuted, and then suddenly is on his way to a subcontinent tour, you’d think that experience would be a good thing for almost everyone,” Cummins said.

“Once you play one, your next one will probably get a little bit better.

“But it’s an Ashes series, we will pick the top 11 that we think will win that test match in Sydney.”

with AAP

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