The Ashes: Josh Inglis could debut four years after admitting support for England, set to replace Tim Paine

Josh Inglis has seen his stocks rise meteorically over the last 12 months and the 26-year-old wicketkeeper could be in line for a debut when Australia host arch-rivals England at the Gabba for the 1st Ashes Test. With Tim Paine taking an indefinite mental health break following his sexting scandal going public, Australia are scrambling for options with Inglis potentially the lead alongside limited-overs keeper Alex Carey.

Josh Inglis will face his country of birth at his adopted home should new Australian captain Pat Cummins hand the wicketkeeper his debut in the first Ashes Test at the Gabba starting on December 8. Josh Inglis was born in Yorkshire but his family moved to Western Australia when he was 14 and has developed into a fine cricketer with his form reaching new heights over the last 12 months.

Inglis was named in the Australia A squad along with Alex Carey in the aftermath of Paine’s sexting scandal, and with the former Australian skipper now ruled out, either of the two are likely to be promoted to the main squad and straight into the playing XI.

In a 2017 interview with Sportsmail, Inglis had admitted to supporting England, despite his ambitions of representing Australia at the international cricket. Four years on, the wicketkeeper-batsman is on the cusp of his dream, and will likely do so against his country of birth. Then just 22, Inglis had said, “It’s hard to support another country if you’ve not been born there.”

Despite leaving the UK at 14, Inglis is accustomed to playing there, having been part of the Leicestershire and London Spirit as an overseas recruit. His performances in England earned him a spot in the T20 World Cup squad, where he served as backup to semi-final hero Matthew Wade. Wade is also one of the contenders to replace, but it is unlikely that the left-hander gets the nod. His average has dropped below 30 in tests, while Inglis is nailed at 34 in FC cricket, while has 30-plus in each of the other two formats.