Australia have kept their winning combinations intact for the remainder of the high-profile five-match Ashes series. Skipper Pat Cummins, who missed the pink-ball Test due to a COVID-19 scare, and Josh Hazlewood, who missed the Adelaide Test due to an injury will be available for the rest of the series.
Hazlewood suffered a mild side strain in the victory at Brisbane and unless the injury gets aggravated, he will return to the playing XI in Melbourne. On the other hand, Cummins has been cleared to play the Boxing Day Test by the Australian government after he tested negative for the deadly virus.
Australia’s only slight concern has been the form of opener Marcus Harris, who has scored only 38 runs from four innings. He is, however, likely to hold his place for his home Test at the MCG even though Australia have the in-form Usman Khawaja waiting in the wings. Although the southpaw was picked for a middle-order role, Khawaja is well-equipped to open the innings and has done it in the past.
— Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) December 20, 2021
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson.
Australia inch closer to a 2-0 lead
The home side, who thrashed England by nine wickets in Brisbane, has continued their dominant run in the second Test. At the time of writing, they need only three wickets to win the second Test and go 2-0 up in the five-match series.
Australia have performed like a well-oiled machine and many former cricketers have backed the Aussie to hand a whitewash to England, who have looked far from their usual best.