Australia took control of the first day of the second Test against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday

Australia took control of the first day of the second Test against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.

Taking two wickets just before lunch to leave the visitors in a tizzy at 58-4.

On a hostile and green Gabba pitch in Brisbane last week.

The hosts prevailed by six wickets in two days to win the first of three Tests.

Although the MCG wicket was less conducive to bowling

Australian captain Pat Cummins unexpectedly chose to field at a location where teams that win the toss typically bat first.

Dean Elgar, captain of South Africa, admitted that the decision left him perplexed, but it turned out to be inspiring.

After Elgar, who reached 5,000 Test runs, and Temba Bavuma both fell in the final few minutes of the session, Khaya Zondo and Kyle Verreynne had not scored at the break.

On a humid day, Cummins asked probing questions early on, dropping Elgar to seven off his own bowling, and then got two big lbw shouts against Sarel Erwee turned down.

Erwee lived a dangerous life and was no match for local hero Scott Boland, who replaced Josh Hazlewood on his home field.

The seamer, who took 6-7 in the same Test against England a year ago, came on to thunderous applause.

In his second over, Usman Khawaja took a low catch at third slip to bowl Erwee out for 18 and get the breakthrough.

Elgar knew he had to stay because he was the senior player and South Africa’s batting had been struggling recently.

However, it was a grind, with the captain surviving after Boland’s inside edge sent the ball rolling onto his stumps, but the bails stayed on, and Nathan Lyon dropping it.

Australia’s second wicket was taken by Cameron Green, the second-most expensive acquisition at the Indian Premier League auction last week.

Theunis De Bruyn attempted a pull shot, but wicketkeeper Alex Carey caught it easily.


Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey,

Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland, and Scott Boland

South Africa:

Dean Elgar, captain; Sarel Erwee; Rassie van der Dussen; Temba Bavuma; Khaya Zondo; Kyle Verreynne;

Marco Jansen; Keshav Maharaj; Kagiso Rabada; Anrich Nortje;

And Lungi Ngidi TV umpires are Rod Tucker (AUS) and Chris Gaffaney (NZL):

Match Official: Richard Kettleborough (ENG) “Mark of the man” by Richie Richardson (WIN):

Australian captain Pat Cummins reveals Josh Hazlewood’s selfless Boxing Day call ahead of the second Test against South Africa.

Victorian hero Scott Boland will play the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, and Cummins reveals Josh Hazlewood’s selfless call.

On Sunday morning, Cummins told reporters that Australia would not alter its starting XI after the series opener in Brisbane.

Due to a minor side strain, Hazlewood was unable to play in the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide or the Gabba Test against the Proteas last week.

The New South Welshman, who made his debut in 2014 and has taken 217 wickets in Tests.

Declared that he was not yet ready to return for the Boxing Day Test, preventing the national selectors from having to make a difficult choice.

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