Pat Cummins Out Of Second Ashes Test in Adelaide

Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Second Ashes Test.
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Australian captain and top-ranked bowler Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Second Ashes Test to be held at the Adelaide Oval. The fast-bowler has been identified as a close contact of a person who has tested positive for covid and Cummins must therefore isolate for the next seven days. Cummins has returned a negative PCR test and is expected to return to action in Melbourne for the Third Ashes test provided he does not test positive before then.

Cummins came into contact with the positive case in a restaurant in Adelaide, with his teammates Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc in the same restaurant. Fortunately for Australia, Lyon and Starc remained outside and have been deemed casual contacts as a result. Cummins was sat on the table next to the person who has since tested positive. Had Lyon, the frontline spinner, and Starc, now the last senior fast-bowler left standing, been ruled out along with their most dangerous bowler, it would have been a much-weakened Australia side.

Even as it is, with Cummins and Hazlewood now both out, the Australian attack looks rather less threatening. Mitchell Starc has consistently done well with the pink ball, whilst there are high hopes for what Jhye Richardson can achieve and Michael Neser has a wealth of first-class experience behind him, but losing Cummins and Hazlewood is a serious blow to the team. They are arguably the best combination of fast bowlers in the world at the moment and any team would struggle to replace them.

That may offer England extra hope ahead of what looked like a daunting task. Australia have never lost a day-night test match on home turf and their recent record in Adelaide is formidable. Last year, they bowled India out for 36 in the second innings in South Australia, whilst the year before that saw David Warner rack-up a mammoth triple-century at this venue against Pakistan. But with Australia now without their captain and talisman, the door might just be ajar for England.

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