Pat Cummins returns as Australia train for Melbourne Ashes Test - in pictures

Hosts aim to take unassailable lead in third Test against England at the MCG

The Australian camp was brimming with energy ahead of the Boxing Day Ashes Test against England in Melbourne, with regular captain Pat Cummins back with the team.

The hosts cruised to a nine-wicket victory in Brisbane and then thrashed England by 275 runs in Adelaide, taking a commanding lead which they will look to turn into an unassailable one at the Melbourne Cricket Ground when the third Test starts on Sunday.

All of Australia's top six made 50s in the Adelaide Test, while the bowling group performed admirably despite missing captain Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

Cummins, recently named as Australia captain, missed out after being a close contact of a Covid-19 positive case, but he is all set to return.

However, there is less certainty around Hazlewood as he continues to recover from a side strain, while the fitness of Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser is being assessed.

That could open the door to a shock debut for experienced right-armer Scott Boland after he was called into the squad as injury cover.

Meanwhile, Australia's Cameron Green said he is in no rush to be compared with Ben Stokes, the all-rounder he rates as "the best in the world".

Green has already played his part in helping the hosts go 2-0 up in the series, picking up England captain Joe Root twice among his five wickets and conceding less than one an over.

His batting has yet to come to the fore, but eight first-class hundreds show plenty of promise. However, Green is keen to avoid comparisons with Stokes.

"I'm not trying to compare myself to Ben Stokes. I think he's the best in the world," said Green.

"It's pretty dangerous if you're trying to compare to him so I'll have to see how it goes. I'm sure when I play more Tests I might get a bit more confidence to be able to do [what Stokes does], get a bit more self-belief that you can win a match by yourself.

"He's been incredible. You can say his numbers don't jump off the page, well I think that they do to be fair. As a guy, he comes in at number five and bowls 25 overs every innings. It's incredible how fit and strong he is."

Updated: December 24th 2021, 5:50 AM