Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of Day 1 of the First Test in Perth.
It’s been a bizarre, dramatic build-up in the days leading into the first ball of the official summer of cricket with Aussie captain Pat Cummins again forced to defend the character of the Aussie dressing room following the departure of former coach Justin Langer.
The opening day of the First Test against the West Indies is going to be a scorcher with the mercury expected to rise above 35C at Optus Stadium.
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The first ball of the summer was sent down by Kemar Roach at 1.20pm AEDT and you can read the full scoreboard here.
1pm – Cummins wins toss, confirms Aussie XI
Test captain Pat Cummins has elected to bat after winning the toss.
There have been no late changes to the expected team: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
The West Indies announced Tagenarine Chanderpaul, the son of West Indies legend Shivnarine, will make his Test debut.
12.45pm – Cummins hugs Langer before the toss
Pat Cummins and Justin Langer have hugged out on the Optus Stadium field as the former coach came face to face with his previous players.
Langer, who is featuring as a TV commentator for Channel 7 this series, was out in the middle near the pitch during the Aussie team’s warm-ups and was seen shaking hands and hugging a large number of players.
It comes after Cummins was on Tuesday forced to respond to suggestions ”cowards” in the Aussie team leaked information against him before his messy exit as coach.
The 29-year-old’s comments came after Langer walked back the ‘coward’ claims he made in an explosive interview with CODE Sports.
The former Aussie coach insisted he wasn’t referring to any of the players when using the offensive term in a later interview with Channel 7.
“There’re no cowards in the Australian cricket team, not ever,” Cummins said in Perth.
“I thank Justin for I guess clarifying his remarks afterwards.
“I think he had a think about it and clarified it, so thank him for that.
“But we’re really proud of the last 12 months, how we’ve fronted up, the way we’ve played, the way we’ve conducted ourselves.
“Players can certainly hold their heads high.”
He also said of Langer: “I’m looking forward to seeing him as well. He’ll be in and around here commentating so it’ll be good.”
Langer said the friendly hugs he shared on Wednesday showed the truth of his relationship with the Aussie dressing room.
“Perception and reality. Perception often sells newspapers. Reality, these are like my little brothers,” Langer said on Channel 7’s pre-match.
“I love Australian cricket. I love being back and seeing the boys. I haven’t seen them for nine months.”