Pat Cummins set to return for third Ashes Test but Josh Hazelwood still out with injury

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Pat Cummins set to return for third Ashes Test but Josh Hazelwood still out with injury
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Australia captain Pat Cummins is expected to return for the third Ashes Test but Josh Hazelwood remains out with a minor side strain.

Cummins missed the second Test after coming into close contact with someone who had Covid. Steve Smith took over captaincy duties and the hosts continued their dominance as they won by 275 runs.

The developments around Cummins’ situation came to light close to the start of the Test and Australia coach Justin Langer says he’s impressed with how his team handled it.

“I found out at midnight about Patty Cummins and what was happening,” he said. “I really liked how everyone stayed calm and got on with their process, their role within the team.”

Hazelwood was injured during the first Test, which Australia won by nine wickets, and though he lives in Sydney he will spend Christmas in Melbourne.

In addition, Langer suggested bowler Mitchell Starc will play in his third successive Test with Scott Boland added to the side.

He added: “Mitch Starc was almost the man of the match last game. He’s an unbelievable athlete and he’s incredibly fit. His resilience to come back over and over again, the way he controlled the tempo of the game, is a credit to him. He became the leader of the attack.

“I’d be very surprised if he doesn’t get up for Boxing Day.”

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