The second Test between Australia and England got underway today, December 16 in Adelaide. However, the hosts received a massive jolt before the match as ace pacer and skipper Pat Cummins was ruled out of the game. Cummins was identified as a close contact of the COVID patient after which Cricket Australia (CA) and health authorities decided to exclude him from the playing XI. Despite returning a negative RT PCR report, Cummins will have to serve seven days in isolation.
Meanwhile, in the absence of Cummins, his deputy Steve Smith is leading the team in Adelaide, while Michael Neser making his Test debut. “Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the Adelaide Test after he was deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Steve Smith will captain, Michael Neser will debut,” posted the official Instagram handle of Cricket Australia.
Reportedly, Cummins went out for dinner with his brother and Adelaide Strikers bowler Henry Conway. Unfortunately for him, the person sitting on the adjoining table was identified as COVID-19 positive.
Cummins was gutted with the development and took to Twitter to express his disappointment. “Gutted to miss this Test but really excited to see Neser finally get his chance in the baggy green,” Cummins tweeted. “He has done the hard yards and is a seriously skilful player. Super frustrating but COVID has thrown us all some curve balls over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!”
Meanwhile, Australia are without Josh Hazlewood as well, who was ruled out of the Test owing to a side strain. Jhye Richardson is playing as his replacement.