Australia vs South Africa: Hosts to field three debutants in 3rd Test, Jackson Bird set for return
Jackson Bird will play as Australia's third pace bowler in the day-night Test against South Africa in Adelaide, skipper Steve Smith said Wednesday.
Adelaide: Jackson Bird will play as Australia's third pace bowler in the day-night Test against South Africa in Adelaide, skipper Steve Smith said Wednesday.
Tasmania's Bird pipped Adelaide-born fast bowler Chadd Sayers to the last spot with under-fire spinner Nathan Lyon holding on to his place in the pink-ball, third and final Test which starts on Thursday.
"Jackson Bird is in," Smith told reporters.
"He took five-for in his last Test match. He's bowled well with the pink ball in the (Sheffield) Shield games he's played.
"He's batted well in the nets here and he deserves an opportunity. So it's unlucky for Chadd (Sayers) to be missing out on his home ground, but we've gone with Jackson Bird."
That means Australia will field three debutants in Adelaide — English-born opener Matt Renshaw and middle-order batsmen Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson.
Smith said he wanted to play a spinner in Adelaide, which has a reputation for taking spin.
"We were always keen on playing a spinner in this game and that's the way we've gone with Nathan Lyon," Smith said.
Heavy defeats in the first and second Tests have plunged Australia into crisis, prompting the chief selector to quit and a dramatic team shake-up with six players axed for the Adelaide Test.
Australia: David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.
Finch reiterated that a struggling David Warner, who was dropped from Sunrisers Hyderabad playing team during the fag end of the Indian Premier League in the UAE, would be ready for the T20 World Cup.
The South Africans have never won the tournament and they could not have asked for a tougher start than against the 2010 runners-up in a match to be played in Abu Dhabi – and Bavuma admitted his side had "some butterflies".
Chappell said T20 has an edge over the traditional format because of the short duration of time needed for the completion of a game.