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Ashes 2021-22 | Pat Cummins ruled out of Adelaide Test after Covid close contact, Smith to lead

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Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test after Covid close contact

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Ashes 2021-22 | Pat Cummins ruled out of Adelaide Test after Covid close contact, Smith to lead

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SportsCafe Desk

12/16/2021

Australia captain Pat Cummins has been ruled out of the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval, after having come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive case at a restaurant on Wednesday. Steve Smith will lead the side for the first time since 2018, while Michael Neser makes his Test debut.

As reported in Nine newspapers first, Cummins and his brother and Adelaide Strikers’ bowler Harry Conway were dining at an Adelaide restaurant, when someone at an adjoining table was identified as a positive covid-19 case. Cummins is said to have left immediately and alerted authorities. He has returned a negative Test but will have to undergo isolation for seven days.

"Cummins was dining in a restaurant last night and did not breach any biosecurity protocols,” a release from Cricket Australia stated. “He isolated as soon as he became aware of the situation and has since had a PCR test, which produced a negative result. We anticipate that he will be available to play in the third Vodafone men's Ashes Test at the MCG in Melbourne.

"Cummins is understandably very disappointed not to be able to captain Australia for the day-night Test in Adelaide. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon were dining at the same restaurant as Cummins but at a separate table outdoors. SA Health has deemed them casual contacts and they are free to play."

As per the South Australia health guidelines for those who are vaccinated, Cummins will have to undergo covid-19 tests on Day 6 and Day 13, and will be able to resume negative activity thereafter if he returns negative results in both.

"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 curveballs over the last couple of years. Will be cheering along!"

Mitchell Starc and Nathon Lyon were at the same restaurant, but at a separate table outdoors, as revealed by Cricket Australia. They were deemed as casual contacts and have been cleared to play.

With Cummins out, Australia will be led by Steve Smith, who will captain the national side for the first time since the Cape Town ball-tampering episode. Travis Head has been named his deputy, while Michael Neser replaces Cummins to make his Test debut.

Australia have won the toss and opted to bat. England have recalled the experienced James Anderson-Stuart Broad pair in the XI, leaving out Mark Wood and Jack Leach from their first Test XI.

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