Ashes 2021-22: Broad returns for England as Australia back Boland and call in Khawaja

By Sports Desk January 04, 2022

England have brought "caged tiger" Stuart Broad back into their team for the fourth Test against Australia in Sydney, after the veteran paceman revealed his frustration at being marginalised.

The 35-year-old, who has 526 Test wickets, has played in just one match during this series so far, with Australia's Steve Smith admitting that has surprised the hosts.

Broad told the Mail on Sunday that it had been "a very disappointing trip, one that has not met my personal expectations", but now he gets another chance to impress, albeit with the Ashes already lost.

Australia have steamrollered England in the opening three Tests, winning by nine wickets, then 275 runs, and last time out by an innings and 14 runs to clinch series victory.

Broad comes in at the SCG for Ollie Robinson, England's leading wicket-taker in the series so far. Like Chris Woakes, Robinson has been troubled by a shoulder problem, meaning both sit out this week's game.

England's stand-in head coach Graham Thorpe said: "We felt like it was too much of a risk to go in with a couple of lads who are carrying niggles. Therefore, it was right to bring Stuart back in.

"I hope I've got a couple of caged tigers coming into this match, Ben Stokes being one of them. Stuart is another.

"Getting the guys into the right frame of mind is important. I think they'll want to put in a performance for themselves and for the team. That's been our focus over the last few days.

"They'll want to do well. It's a wonderful cricket ground to play at. To have that fight and competitiveness, it's going to be very important this week."

Australia retain Scott Boland after his 6-7 second-innings return in Melbourne, where the hosts retained the urn, while Usman Khawaja replaces Travis Head in the middle order.

Head, like England head coach Chris Silverwood, is sidelined this week after a positive COVID-19 result.

With Josh Hazlewood short of full fitness, Australia have again put their trust in Boland, the 32-year-old Victorian whose Test debut went like a dream last time out.

Australia captain Pat Cummins said: "It's no secret that if Joshy Hazlewood was available then he was going to play. He's been just a brilliant bowler for us for a long period of time.

"We gave Josh every chance we could, just felt like he couldn't bowl at full tilt yesterday. We're still hoping he'll be right for [the fifth Test in] Hobart."

Cummins is pleased there is an opportunity to hand Boland a second cap, after speculation he could have become a one-Test wonder.

"It would have been a real shame to see Scotty not play this week after his efforts last week. I spent about five years sitting on one Test and I hated when people talked about it because I felt like I hadn't proven anything," Cummins said.

"He's bowling as well as he ever has, it's great that he can keep going from last week."


Fourth Test teams:

Australia: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.

England: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.

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