One of the most exciting aspects heading into the pivotal Boxing Day Test of the Ashes 2021-22 was the debut of Victorian quick Scott Boland. Boland wore the Test whites for the very first time on Sunday (December 26), the opening day of the third Ashes Test at the iconic MCG.
Picked ahead of Jhye Richardson for the Test match, Boland is being seen as Australia’s MCG specialist for the Ashes since he boasts of a terrific record at the ground. Ever since the track at the famous venue has gone through a much-needed transformation and become pacer-friendly again, Boland has been absolutely brilliant at it.
The tall right-arm quick has picked up a whopping 42 wickets from his six first-class matches at MCG with a measly average of 14.35. Scott Boland bagged astonishing figures of 8/89 against New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield encounter played in November.
Having impressed the selectors with his recent performances, Boland earned a maiden Test call-up and that too for the Ashes. Getting to bowl at his favourite venue, he made a disciplined start on the opening day and eventually got lower-order bat Mark Wood out to record his maiden Test scalp.
Scott Boland makes curious sound at the point of release
But discipline and accuracy weren’t the only aspects that caught everyone’s eye with Scott Boland’s first set of spells at the Test level. As cameras rolled in close, the stump mic caught an interesting sound that Boland was making every time he went through his delivery stride.
Now, this wasn’t the usual voice coming out of a bowler’s throat as he put in the extra effort before releasing the cricket ball. This was the case of Boland, quite interestingly, tapping his own thigh with his non-bowling arm on each occasion that he let go of the ball.
Australian broadcaster Channel 7 offered a detailed clip of the same after fans caught up with the sound that Scott Boland was generating unintentionally.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 26, 2021
Boland’s MCG debut was fastened up by the fact that Richardson, and also Adelaide debutant Michael Neser, “pulled up a little bit sore” after the second Test, confirmed Australian skipper Pat Cummins. Cummins looked forward to Boland’s tryst with the Test match game and backed him to produce the goods.
“Really excited for Scotty, a class player, debuting here on his home ground,” Cummins was quoted as saying by The Age. “Jhye and Nes pulled up a little bit sore after Adelaide, so we’ve made the decision to bring in Scotty. It’s a luxury to have someone like him ready to go. He’s fresh, and he’s been consistent for so long.”
Cummins also hinted that Australia have “earmarked” Scott Boland for also the New Year’s Test in Sydney, which makes the selection interesting with Josh Hazlewood expected to return from his injury. Indications are that Australia may consider resting Mitchell Starc after three back to back Tests.