Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage from the opening day of the First Test against South Africa in Brisbane.
The clash is the first since the sandpaper scandal in 2018 that came amid a series full of clashes between players on the field and off and sets the scene for a fiery encounter.
The South Africans have won the past three Test series in Australia, but none of those 11 matches were played in Brisbane, where the two teams haven’t clashed since 1963.
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The Gabba has been a fortress for Australia, who have lost there just once since 1988.
Both Aussie skipper Pat Cummins and South Africa’s Dean Elgar would have liked what they saw when they got to inspect the ominous-looking green monster wicket.
Play is scheduled to get underway from 11am AEDT.
9am: Australia-South Africa series trophy mocked
It was a talking point all week and it looks set to continue to be for the rest of the summer after the trophy was unveiled for Australia’s Test series against South Africa on Friday.
Pat Cummins and Dean Elgar posed with the non-descript trophy on Friday and it would be safe to say the latest prize hasn’t pleased many.
Australia and South Africa do not have a perpetual trophy they contest for in Test cricket.
The trophy shown off by Cummins and Elgar doesn’t look like one that will be remembered in years to come — except maybe for how bad it is.
Channel 7’s Andrew McKinlay said of the “iffy” trophy: “The wood will have to be sandpapered”.
Jokes were flying all over Twitter after the trophy was spotted with some calling for the Australia-South Africa series to be immortalised as the Warner-Du Plessis Cup after their infamous clashes in 2018.
Fans were just as scathing on Reddit.
“So the winning team gets a new chopping board,” one user posted.
Another commented: “The wood looks very smooth, like it was sanded”.
One wrote: “First thoughts are that it looks kinda lame, and honestly there should be a perpetual trophy between Australia and South Africa for bilateral tests considering the quality of the competition in years past”.
One said the series will be known as the “Cheeseboard Cup” and the loser will have to provide the platter during the lunch break.
One blunt comment suggested “they should burn it”.
It has long been rumoured that some years ago there were discussions over potentially naming the series the Waugh-Pollock trophy, but the two parties have never reached an agreement.
8am: Cummins never in doubt for First Test
Pat Cummins said there was no doubt in his mind about returning from injury to play in the First Test against South Africa — coming at the expense of Michael Neser.
He said on Friday he is feeling as good as he ever has going in to a Test series.
Cummins is recovered from the slight quad injury which limited him in the second innings of the first Test against the Windies in Perth, and forced him to miss the second in Adelaide.
But having been back bowling on arrival in Brisbane earlier this week, Cummins said he’s fully-armed for the showdown with the Proteas, the first Test clash between the two countries since the sandpaper scandal rocked their 2018 encounter.
“I feel great,” Cummins said on Friday.
“I feel as fresh as I’ve ever been going into a Test series.
“I‘m totally 100 per cent, had a couple of bowls and I’m ready to go.”
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