Déjà vu helps Boland's South Africa case

December 10, 2022 11:18 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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A serious case of déjà vu has helped Scott Boland push forward his case for selection in the Gabba Test as coach Andrew McDonald considers which of his quicks will need to make way for returning captain Pat Cummins.

Boland and Queensland local Michael Neser will jostle to replace Josh Hazlewood, who is expected to miss out through a side strain, in the series opener against South Africa that begins on Saturday.

Neser impressed in the first innings against West Indies at Adelaide Oval while Boland went wicketless, but last summer's Ashes hero needed only one ball to put his fingerprints on Australia's second stint in the field.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite tried to block Boland's delivery but instead edged straight to Alex Carey and became the first of three wickets to fall that over.

Boland's triple-wicket-maiden had the Test looking as though it could have been over by the end of day three and was fitting reward for the always-accurate paceman.

"When we think of Scott Boland, we think of impeccable lengths and I think he produced those throughout the first innings," Australian spin coach Daniel Vettori said.

"Tonight, he got the rewards for those impeccable lengths."

Boland's imperious figures of 3-9 brought back memories of his Test debut against England at the MCG last summer, when he flexed his muscles with another devastating and miserly second innings.

Then, Boland took 6-7 to ensure cult status and keep his spot in the Test team for the remaining two matches of the series.

Boland has developed a habit of shining particularly brightly in second innings; he has taken 15 of his 21 Test wickets in second spells at the crease.

In second innings, Boland concedes an average of only 4.3 runs per wicket.

The 33-year-old admitted nerves may have something to do with his quieter first innings but said his process remained consistent at all points of the game.

"My first couple of games I was always really nervous in the first innings, even this game I was still quite nervous the whole first day before we got a bowl," he told cricket.com.au.

"But there's no secret recipe."

"I just try to put as many balls in the same spot as I can.

"It worked again."


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