Scott Boland rocks South Africa in 'ridiculous' display in first Test

Scott Boland, pictured here continuing his incredible Test form against South Africa.
Scott Boland continued his incredible Test form against South Africa. Image: Getty

Scott Boland has continued an astonishing start to his Test career, running through South Africa's top order on the opening morning of the first Test against South Africa. After Pat Cummins won the toss and bowled first on a 'green monster' at the Gabba, his fast bowlers vindicated his decision early.

After Mitchell Starc dismissed South Africa captain Dean Elgar for 3 and Cummins had Rassie van der Dussen caught behind for 5, it was Boland's time to shine. The Victorian got Sarel Erwee caught at gully for 10 before trapping Khaya Zondo lbw for a duck in the same over.

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After Boland's second wicket, South Africa were 4-27 after losing 3-0 in just 11 balls and the Aussie bowler had 2-6 from four overs. Coming into the match, the 33-year-old had a staggering Test record of 21 wickets in four matches at an average of 10.33.

"He's probably one of the first players on the team sheet come June-July next year in the Ashes in England. He's almost - well, he is a must in this team now," Simon Katich said on Channel 7.

A fighting 57-run partnership between Kyle Verreynne and Temba Bavuma helped the Proteas get to 4-84 at lunch. But Boland's heroics helped vindicate Cummins' call to bowl first on a Gabba pitch sporting plenty of grass. Boland kept his place in the XI despite the return of Cummins, with Michael Neser the man to make way for the captain.

"Looks like there's a bit of colour in the wicket, the crowd seems to be happy so we'll see how we go," Cummins said about bowling first. "It might be a bit misleading, the colour, but it feels hard, sometimes here at the Gabba is just gets better and better so no matter what happens today hopefully it's a good batting wicket later on."

Scott Boland, pictured here celebrating the wicket of Sarel Erwee in the first Test between Australia and South Africa.
Scott Boland celebrates the wicket of Sarel Erwee in the first Test between Australia and South Africa. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

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South Africa captain Elgar said his team was up for the challenge as they look to claim a remarkable fourth-consecutive Test series win in Australia. The skipper admitted he probably would've batted first anyway.

"I was a little bit undecided but I think I was also going to bat first so it's worked OK for us," Elgar said. "It does look a little greener than expected but it might play better than it looks."

The Gabba Test marked the first red-ball match between the fierce rivals since Australia's ill-fated tour of South Africa in 2018 that will be forever remembered for the ball-tampering scandal. The Proteas, who won that series 3-1 four years ago, have had even more of a makeover than Australia since the last series.

Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis have all retired, leaving Australia to deal with a South African batting line-up they are very unfamiliar with. Wicket-keeper Kyle Verreynne will bat at No.6, with South Africa going for a deep bowling line-up headed by star quick Kagiso Rabada.

AUSTRALIA XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (capt), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.

SOUTH AFRICA XI: Dean Elgar (capt), Sarel Erwee, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Lungi Ngidi.

with AAP

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