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Australia skipper Steven Smith, on Friday (December 1), confirmed the hosts would play the second Ashes Test in Adelaide with the same eleven that dismantled England in the series-opener at the Gabba.
The latest announcement means Australia will not rest any of their three speedsters – Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. There were apprehensions over the trio’s fitness, but it all disappeared after they completed the Thursday’s practice session with ease.
On the other hand, Chadd Sayers is likely to be released from the 13-man squad so that he can ply his trade for West End Redbacks in the ongoing Sheffield Shield. The Redbacks will take on Queensland Bulls from Sunday.
According to Cricket Australia’s official website, Jackson Bird, who too failed to make the cut, is also likely to leave the team to play for Tasmania if nothing unfortunate happens before the toss. The right-arm pacer had stayed with the national side before the toss of the first Test before joining Tasmania for their Shield match where he had taken eight wickets.
Meanwhile, the in-form hosts will be looking to double their lead when they take on the beleaguered England side in the historic day-night Test in Adelaide. Steven Smith & Co. have the momentum on their side after the comprehensive ten-wicket victory at the Gabba and will be eager to make the most of it. Moreover, the familiarity with the day-night Test will also boost Australia’s confidence. The team from Down Under has played three day-night Tests so far with two of them being at Adelaide and have won all of them. On the other hand, England have played only one day-night game till date which they won by an innings and 209 runs against West Indies.
Peter Handscomb, Australia’s middle-order batsman, also said the Aussies’ familiarity with the pink ball is an advantage for them before stating that it would be different ball game for the visitors.
“We’ve played with the pink Kookaburra ball for a long time, and we’ve seen it change over the time and understand what it does do, especially here in Adelaide playing a few games,” Handscomb said on Thursday (November 30).
“It is a good advantage for us and England haven’t played many games or trained much against the pink ‘Kooka’. It’s a different ball game for them,” he added.
The second Test gets underway on Saturday (December 2).
Australia playing eleven for the second Test:
Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Steven Smith (c), Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.
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