Cummins ruled out of Adelaide Test, Boland recalled

Steven Smith will be stand-in captain for the second year running

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Pat Cummins lets out an appeal, Australia vs West Indies, 1st Test, Perth, 2nd Day, December 1, 2022

Pat Cummins is hopeful of returning for the first Test against South Africa  •  Getty Images

Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Adelaide Test for the second year running after not recovering from the quad strain he picked up in Perth.
Scott Boland, who averages 9.55 after his three Ashes Tests last year, will come back into the side to face West Indies and is likely to form a pace attack with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green.
Cummins went through 40 minutes of running work on Tuesday but did not bowl and he was scrubbed from the match before Australia trained on Wednesday.
"Team medical staff commenced Cummins' recovery in Adelaide but selectors deemed there was not sufficient time for the fast bowler to be fully fit for the match, which starts tomorrow," a statement said. "Cummins is expected to return for the opening Test match against South Africa in Brisbane."
It means that Steven Smith will captain the Test after he also stood in for Cummins last year when he was deemed a Covid-19 close contact.
"There's a bit more time to prepare for this game than last year, that was chaotic," Smith said. "I have to do it my own way, I can't try and be someone else.
"When something like this happens we have plans in place for certain batters, but ultimately it's what the game entails is what needs to be done. I'm pretty chilled, I took over the game here last year and it went pretty smoothly."
With a crammed Test schedule where Australia play five matches in little more than five weeks, managing the fast bowlers will be key for the selectors. The tour of India, which includes four Tests, then begins in early February.
"I don't think [Cummins] was too far away," Smith said. "With what's coming up with a big series against South Africa and Tests in India, there is a lot of cricket.
"From a strategic point of view, to have the possibility of going down and putting the load through the other quicks after they bowled some overs during the Perth Test. It would have been a risky decision to continue going, so I think we have made the right call."
With Australia playing two series in Asia following last summer's Ashes, and then Josh Hazlewood returning in Perth last week, Boland has yet to add to his three caps, but there is the belief that he will be well suited to the pink ball in Adelaide.
Boland's spectacular Test debut, where he claimed 6 for 7, came on an MCG wicket that Nathan Lyon said closely resembled what is traditionally produced for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.
"That wicket last year was pretty similar to an Adelaide wicket. It's probably the closest a drop-in MCG wicket has been," Lyon said. "I don't think many things will change. His confidence is up and so it should be. His skill set has always been at the top in my eyes. He hits me in the pad for fun when I play him in state cricket. But what I see in Scott now is his confidence level has gone up a little."
Boland bowled impressively during training on Tuesday evening, giving a number of batters a difficult time, as those who had been used in Perth were carefully managed.
The opening Test against South Africa in Brisbane starts on December 17.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo