Australian captain Pat Cummins will be unavailable in the upcoming second and final Test against West Indies as the fast bowler has been ruled out due to a thigh strain he picked up in the opening Test at Perth.

Cummins’ absence also means that Australia will be captained by Steve Smith for a second consecutive Day-Night Test, as Cummins had also missed last year’s Pink Ball Test against England after being deemed a close contact of a Covid-19 case.

“Team medical staff commenced Cummins’ recovery in Adelaide, but selectors deemed there was not sufficient time for the fast bowler to be fully fit for the match, which starts tomorrow. Cummins is expected to return for the opening Test match against South Africa in Brisbane,” read a statement as quoted by cricket.com.au.

The Victorian fast bowler Scott Boland has been picked as a replacement for Cummins. Notably, Boland picked up 18 wickets at a stunning average of 9.55 in his debut campaign against England last year but has since warmed the bench on overseas tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka and was the 12th man in the two-match series opener against the Windies in Perth.

Meanwhile, the Aussies expect Cummins to be fit for the first Test against South Africa, which is scheduled to begin on December 17 at the Gabba in Brisbane.

“I don’t think he was too far away (from playing), and he will continue to build this week. But with what’s coming up, a big series against South Africa and then Tests in India, there’s a lot of cricket. I think we’ve made the right call, and he’ll be fine to go for the next Test match, I’m sure,” said Smith, who will be leading the Aussies in the Adelaide Test.

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