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“He Should Play”: Michael Vaughan Lends Weight To Scott Boland Playing Birmingham Test

Dixit Bhargav

"He Should Play": Michael Vaughan Lends Weight To Scott Boland Playing Birmingham Test

The composition of the Australian bowling attack for the first Ashes 2023 Test in Birmingham is alluring a plethora of opinions with former England captain Michael Vaughan among latest high-profile individuals to voice their opinion. While captain Pat Cummins and spinner Nathan Lyon are sure-starters, one out of pacers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Scott Boland will have to be benched to accommodate five batters, one all-rounder and wicket-keeper batter each.

With around 48 hours remaining for the match, Australia are yet to announce their Playing XI. If truth be told, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they don’t do it before the toss. That said, the same will only lead to a massive increase in the number of suggestions bring thrown at the visitors.

In an ideal world, both Starc and Hazlewood would’ve easily pinned down Boland taking into consideration the wide difference in experience between them. That being said, Boland picking crucial wickets not only during the recently concluded ICC World Test Championship final against India but throughout his 18-month old Test career has started to move him above Hazlewood in the pecking order.

Even though he has recovered from an injury, Hazlewood could be left out because he hasn’t played a first-class match in the last six months. While Starc could also be benched, the same will go down as a left-field choice on the part of the Australian team management.

Michael Vaughan Lends Weight To Scott Boland Playing Birmingham Test

Vaughan, meanwhile, has endorsed former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody in saying that Boland should play the first match on Friday. Part of Fox Cricket’s Ashes preview alongside former Australian cricketers namely Ricky Ponting, Mark Waugh and Brad Haddin on Monday, Vaughan reckoned that England would be treating Boland like a spinner come the iconic clash.

“[Bazball] has worked against most teams they’ve played, but this Australian team is different though. They’re a relentless bowling unit. They’ll try though. Scott Boland, they’ll be running at him like a spinner.”

Clearing a confusion in a story published on Wisden, Vaughan tweeted to mention how he is in support of Boland playing his first away Ashes Test at Edgbaston. “I never said Boland wouldn’t make the cut … he will and should play …,” the 48-year old tweeted.

In his three Tests against England back home, Boland had picked 18 wickets at an average of 9.55 and a strike rate of 27 including career-best bowling figures of 4-1-7-6 on debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Josh Hazlewood Looking To Play 3-4 Ashes 2023 Tests

Hazlewood, who has played only four out of Australia’s 19 Tests in the last two years, is eyeing participating in at least three Tests of the imminent series. While he considers playing four as an achievement, the 32-year old player is practical enough to admit that he would’ve never been able to play all the six matches (including WTC final) on this tour.

“If we go back a few years, I would have said [I expected to play] all six [Tests]. But I guess it’s a little bit different now, based on the last two years of history. I think three would be nice pass and four is probably a tick. Any more than that is great. Any less then I am probably a little disappointed again.”

In 14 Tests against England across four series, Hazlewood has dismissed 60 batters at an average and strike rate of 24.45 and 49.1 respectively. 36 wickets in eight Tests in England further better the average and strike rate to 23.58 and 45.5 respectively.

About the author

Dixit Bhargav

Dixit Bhargav


Born and brought up in Pathankot, Dixit Bhargav is an engineering and sports management graduate who works as a Cricket Editor at The SportsRush. Having written more than 10,000 articles across more than five years at TSR, his first cricketing memory dates back to 2002 when former India captain Sourav Ganguly had waved his jersey at the historic Lord’s balcony. What followed for an 8-year-old was an instant adulation for both Ganguly and the sport. The optimist in him is waiting for the day when Punjab Kings will win their maiden Indian Premier League title. When not watching cricket, he is mostly found in a cinema hall watching a Punjabi movie.

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