Pat Cummins Ruled Out Of Pink-Ball Test Hours Before Start Of Play, Smith To Lead Australia


The Ashes: Australian captain Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the second Test match between Australia and England that is set to be played on Thursday. Cricket Australia announced this decision “after it emerged that he came into contact with a positive COVID-19 case on Wednesday evening.”

Steve Smith will be leading the side in the absence of the new skipper. He will lead his country for the first time since the 2018 Cape Town Test against South Africa, since the sand-paper gate. Michael Neser will make his Test debut, while Travis Head will be vice-captain.

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In a statement, Cricket.com.au informed that, “SA Health has confirmed that Cummins is a close contact and will be required to isolate for seven days, after Cummins went to dinner at an Adelaide restaurant where a fellow patron was identified as having the virus.”

The second Test is supposed to be played at the Adelaide Oval. It will be a Day & Night Test match that will start at 9:30 am IST. After a forgettable first match, the English team under Joe Root would be itching to change their fortunes. Australia is one-up in the series, but the Ashes has a knack for producing surprising results.

Root was criticized for making the wrong decisions in the first Test. Especially, dropping both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad did not go down well with the critics. Anderson and Broad have been included in the side for the Oval Test.

England coach, Chris Silverwood, on the eve of the Test match said, “Obviously they were hurting, but there is belief they can win this series,” to AFP.

“We have the players here that can match the Australians. The confidence is there that we can compete with Australia, and that’s exactly what we intend to do,” he added.

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