Usman Khawaja is known to be a bit of a prankster in the Australian cricket team, and Scott Boland found that out the hard way last summer. Boland famously took 6-7 on his Test debut, tearing through England at the MCG in the third Ashes Test at the end of 2021.
The Victorian has become a cult hero in Australian cricket, with his incredible record standing at 28 wickets in just six matches at an average of 12.21. But Khawaja made sure to remind Boland of his place in the team as a rookie in new details that have come to light.
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In the second series of Amazon documentary 'The Test' - premiering on Friday - viewers are shown the moment Khawaja kicked Boland out of his seat before his Test debut. Boland can be seen walking into the dressing rooms at the MCG and sitting down in a chair, before Khawaja comes in and asks him to move.
“Scotty was sitting here and Uzzie walked in and was like, ‘Scotty mate, come on',” Mitchell Swepson says to camera. “Scotty’s now over near the coffee machine instead of where he was.
"Poor man’s on debut now and Uzzie’s not even playing. Standard Usman, really.” Khawaja defends himself, saying he “did ask him if he wanted to move and he said no.”
Boland's heroics in the MCG Test helped Australia win the match and secure a series victory. The 33-year-old with Indigenous heritage went from relative obscurity to instant hero.
“Culturally, this is a profound moment,” commentator Gerard Whateley says on 'The Test'. “One man soars above all the others. It’s there in the Welcome to Country, it’s there in the presentation of the Johnny Mullagh medal. This is the Cathy Freeman moment.”
Ricky Ponting's truth bomb for Scott Boland
Boland has been unable to cement his place in Australia's Test side despite an incredible start to his career in the national team. With fellow fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc all above him in the pecking order, Boland's Test appearances have only come about due to injuries of others.
Fans were left seething when he was dropped for the third Test against South Africa at the SCG last week, with Hazlewood coming back into the team after recovering from a side strain. Starc missed the match due to a finger injury, but the Aussies opted to play Ashton Agar as a second spinning option alongside Nathan Lyon.
Discussing his omission on Channel 7, former Test captain Ricky Ponting made the staggering suggestion that Boland was "the luckiest cricketer ever to represent Australia." Ponting told fellow commentator Damien Fleming: "Some of the wickets he's played on, you'd be still getting wickets nowadays."
Ponting added: "That's not taking anything away from what Boland has done. Boland's record is outstanding, he probably deserves to be in the team. But the cold, hard facts are that he wasn't in Australia's best three fast bowlers at the start of the summer."
Starc also appears likely to miss the first Test against India in February, where Australia are leaning towards playing a second spinner again. The 32-year-old was considered a 50-50 chance of playing the first Test in Nagpur on February 9, but revealed on Monday night that he's unlikely to play.
"That's probably likely (I will miss the first Test)," Starc told AAP at the launch of 'The Test' in Sydney. "We'll see how we're placed at the end of the month.
"Hopefully I am there for the second Test if they want to play me. Maybe I can make some footmarks for Gazza (Lyon) or something. We'll see how the finger is."
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