Australia make one change for Sydney Test as Usman Khawaja replaces Travis Head

The hosts settled on an unchanged bowling attack from the third Test in Melbourne

Rory Dollard
Tuesday 04 January 2022 00:32
Usman Khawaja is back in the Australia side in Sydney (Jason O’Brien/PA)
Usman Khawaja is back in the Australia side in Sydney (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Australia have made one enforced change to their side for the fourth Ashes Test, with Usman Khawaja replacing the isolating Travis Head.

Head tested positive for Covid-19 after the series-clinching victory in Melbourne and has not made the journey to Sydney, opening up a return for Khawaja.

The 35-year-old has been performing 12th man duties throughout the Ashes and now gets his chance to contribute in the Baggy Green for the first time since the famous 2019 Test at Headingley where Ben Stokes fashioned an unforgettable England win.

While his return was expected as soon as Head was unavailable, there were fitness questions to answer before Australia settled on an unchanged bowling attack.

Josh Hazlewood would have come back into the XI had he got the all clear, but a side injury which cropped up during the first Test at The Gabba is still holding him back.

With Jhye Richardson also carrying a leg issue, that meant Scott Boland will keep his place at the SCG. Boland turned in a sensational debut performance on his home ground last week, claiming remarkable figures of six for seven as England were blown away for 68 all out in the second innings.

Scott Boland keeps his place after a dream debut in Melbourne (Jason O’Brien/PA)

Despite that player-of-the-match performance, Boland might have been squeezed out of the side if everyone had been fully fit.

“It’s no secret that if Joshy Hazlewood was available then he was going to play,” said Cummins.

“He’s been just a brilliant bowler for us for a long period of time. We gave Josh every chance we could, it just felt like he couldn’t bowl at full tilt yesterday. We’re still hoping he’ll be right for Hobart (the fifth Test).

“But it would have been a real shame to see Scotty not play this week after his efforts last week.

“He’s bowling as well as he ever has, it’s great that he can keep going from last week. You need that disciplined stump-to-stump bowler and that’s what Scotty brings to the table.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in