Australia's Scott Boland celebrates after taking the wicket of South Africa's Marco Jansen in first Test. The return of Josh Hazlewood has put his situation in trouble. Image Credit: AFP

Melbourne: Australia’s selectors may be faced with a tough call between retaining Scott Boland or replacing him with regular paceman Josh Hazlewood as the hosts look to seal a series win over South Africa at the ‘Boxing Day’ Test in Melbourne.

Boland slotted in for the injured Hazlewood in the second and final Test against West Indies as well as the Proteas series-opener in Brisbane, which Australia won by six wickets on Sunday.

The late-bloomer grabbed four wickets at the Gabba and is a specialist at his home Melbourne Cricket Ground where he celebrated a seven-wicket debut in the Ashes last year.

Nice headache

Selectors chairman George Bailey said Hazlewood was fast coming back into the frame, though, as he recovered from a side strain, giving the panel a nice headache.

“[Boland] was on the radar for the MCG last year because of exactly what we’ve seen him do,” Bailey said on Monday.

Josh Hazlewood is almost on the verge of completing his return to his fitness ahead of the MCG Test. Image Credit: AFP

“He bashes a length, and his ability to take multiple wickets in the same over speaks on how consistent he is and the questions he asks of the batter right from ball one.

“He’s going fantastically (but) Josh is recovering really well.

“He had another really good hit-out (on Sunday) and is close to 90 per cent I reckon.

“He’ll keep building and clearly we’ve got a decision to make, but it’s a good problem to have.”

Grassy pitch

Australia completed victory at the Gabba in two days, batting marginally better than the Proteas on a perilous, grassy pitch that South Africa captain Dean Elgar complained was unfair on the batters.

Thirty-four wickets fell, including the four that Australia lost chasing 34 runs for victory.

South Africa’s batsmen had the worst of the conditions as the pitch quickened on day two, making the relative form of the teams difficult to assess.

Bailey said he had no concerns about David Warner’s lean run, after the opener managed only three runs at the Gabba.

“No doubt David would be the first to say he’d like a few more runs and to be contributing a bit more,” he said.

“But (we have) full confidence that will come.”

South Africa's Kagiso Rabada (centre) celebrates the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith. Image Credit: AFP

Pace bowler Kagiso Rabada said South Africa’s inexperienced squad need time to adapt to playing on the international stage.

Star-studded line-up

“I’ve played in a team in a star-studded line-up, where you are literally playing with greats of the game,” Rabada said. “I don’t think that happens quite frequently.

“Now, the situation that we’re faced with, there’s a whole lot of players who have come in, who have the ability but need to get used to the international circuit.”

Captain Elgar is the most-capped player in the team with 80 appearances, followed by Rabada with 56. Excluding Elgar and Temba Bavuma (52), the rest of the top six in the battling line-up have 41 caps between them.

“There needs to be an element of patience and understanding but at the same time, you can’t advocate for bad performances. However, we’re quite positive,” Rabada added.