Australia vs South Africa: Hosts make drastic changes for third Test, bring in six new faces - Firstpost
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Australia vs South Africa: Hosts make drastic changes for third Test, bring in six new faces


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Adelaide: Crisis-hit Australia made six changes to their Test squad for this week's third Test against South Africa in Adelaide, a day-and-night affair that begins from Thursday.

Jackson Bird played the last of his five Tests in New Zealand earlier this year. Getty Images

Jackson Bird played the last of his five Tests in New Zealand earlier this year. Getty Images

Selectors have named debutants Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, Chadd Sayers and Nic Maddinson in a 12-man squad, with paceman Jackson Bird returning, and Matthew Wade coming in as wicketkeeper.

Australia last made six changes in 1984, when they faced the then formidable West Indies.

Joe Burns, Adam Voges, Callum Ferguson, Peter Nevill and Joe Mennie have all been omitted from the squad, with interim chief selector Trevor Hohns saying that Voges, Mitch Marsh and Steve O'Keefe were not considered because of injuries.

The dramatic team overhaul follows Australia's innings and 80-run loss to South Africa in last week's Hobart Test, which gave the tourists an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

South Africa could inflict the first home series whitewash in Australian history if they win the pink ball final Test at the Adelaide Oval, starting on Thursday.

Queensland opener Renshaw, 20, was born in Yorkshire and lived in England before coming to Australia at the age of 10. Victorian batsman Handscomb, 25, is also the holder of a British passport, but was born in Australia to English parents.

Maddinson, 24, became the youngster player when he was 18 to score a century on Sheffield Shield debut for New South Wales in 2010 and has also represented Australia in Twenty20 cricket.

Sayers, a Adelaide Oval specialist, had been in Australia's Test squad earlier this year but did not play a Test match in New Zealand

"Matt has established himself in a short period of time as one of the best young opening bats in the country," Hohns said. "His form is currently very good and we see him as a very exciting prospect for the future. Peter’s form over the last couple seasons, and with Australia A, has also been very consistent. We think he is the type of player who could succeed at the next level. Nic is an exciting and talented young player, and we feel now is the ideal time for him to be involved with the Australian team."

Tasmania’s Jackson Bird and South Australia's Sayers come into the squad as additional fast-bowlers. "We consider Chadd and Jackson to be very good bowlers who also can bowl a large amount of overs in conjunction with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood," Hohns said.

"Chadd bowls very well in Adelaide, and Jackson is coming off a strong performance in his last Test match earlier in the year and both deserve their chance," he added.

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 12:46 IST

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