Melbourne [Australia]: Australian skipper Steve Smith has confirmed the playing XI, which includes three debutants, for the third and final Test against South Africa to be played in Adelaide from Thursday.
In the playing XI announced, fast bowler Jackson Bird, who plays for Tasmania, has got a nod over South Australia’s Chadd Sayers.
The three players making their debut are Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson.
Bird has beat out Sayers for the final bowling spot, with the selectors opting against picking an all-put pace attack for a match to be played on a green Adelaide Oval pitch and under lights.
“(Bird) took five-fa in the last Test match he played, he’s bowled well with the pink ball in the (day-night) Shield games that he’s played, bowled well in the nets out the back and deserves an opportunity,” Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.co.au.
The Australian skipper, however, asserted that it was unlucky for Sayers to miss out on his home ground.
“We’ve obviously made a lot of changes, and some young guys have come into the squad.This series has been disappointing the way it’s gone for us. I’m actually really excited about the young guys coming into the group and what they bring,” Smith said.
South Africa will name their playing XI at the toss after captain Faf du Plessis was cleared to play the day-night Test despite being found guilty of ball tampering by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The Proteas are currently chasing a first-ever series whitewash in Australia following their comprehensive victories in Perth and Hobart.
Australia XI: David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird. (ANI)