Pat Cummins returns for first Test against South Africa in Brisbane

Pat Cummins

The Australian team has been handed a massive boost ahead of the Gabba Test against the Proteas. Pat Cummins returns to the squad after missing the series finale against the Windies. The Australian skipper was a major doubt for the series opener against Dean South Africa after sustaining a quadriceps injury. Cummins replaces Michael Neser in the starting eleven for the home side.

The Australian skipper’s return was confirmed after the hosts announced the team for the first Test in Brisbane on Friday. Cummins will retake his leadership duties from Steve Smith, who led the side in the absence of the star pacer. Although Scott Boland retains his place in the starting eleven due to Josh Hazlewood’s omission due to a side strain. Michael Neser had to make way for the Aussie skipper despite impressing in Adelaide.

It is worth noting that this is the first red-ball contest between the two sides since the infamous ‘Sandpapergate’ in the 2018 series. The home side are the favorites heading into the contest given their formidable batting unit.

However, they will face an acid test against the famed Protean fast bowling attack that features Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, and Marco Jansen. The green top at the Gabba is sure to excite the visitors, who have won their last three red-ball series. But a lackluster batting performance in the England series will be a cause of concern for the indomitable Dean Elgar.

Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland