Qantas Tour of South Africa
Three new faces in Aussie Test squad
Queensland duo and Victorian star recalled as tourists receive fourth Test shake-up
Sam Ferris in Johannesburg
28 March 2018, 03:52 AM AEST
Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns will fly to South Africa as part of Australia's revamped squad for the final Test of the series after Cricket Australia confirmed three players will leave the tour due to their involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.
Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft will be sent home from South Africa after CA suspended the trio for plotting to alter the condition of the ball on day three of the third Test in Cape Town. The trio was reported for breaching article 2.3.5 of Cricket Australia’s Code of Conduct.
Tim Paine, who acted as interim captain on day four in Newlands following Smith and Warner standing down from their leadership roles, will lead the side for the fourth Test in Johannesburg as Australia's 46th Test captain.
Maxwell and Burns join Queenslander Matthew Renshaw as the reinforcements parachuted in by CA for the crucial final Test, with all three players in contention to play at The Wanderers alongside the squad's initial reserve batsman Peter Handscomb.
Australia have not lost a Test series in South Africa in the post-Apartheid era, but currently trail 1-2 to the hosts with the final match beginning on Friday.
The squad additions all have the advantage of not only having played Test cricket, but having also reached triple figures at the highest level, a feat no Australian has achieved so far on this tour.
Renshaw and Maxwell played their most recent Test side-by-side against Bangladesh in Chittagong last September before being overlooked for the Magellan Ashes.
But the pair brushed off being dropped and dominated the JLT Sheffield Shield season either side of the KFC Big Bash break; Maxwell amassed 590 runs, including a mammoth 278 in Sydney, in the first half of the season, while Renshaw posted three centuries and an unbeaten 81 in the Shield final after the break.
Burns has been in prolific form this summer, with 725 runs, two centuries and a best score of 202no in seven first-class matches for Queensland. The 13-Test rep was in line to make the initial Test squad, but a hip injury sustained training with Brisbane Heat ruined his chances.
It is likely Renshaw and Burns will face the new ball together in the fourth Test, the first time in four-and-a-half years Australia's Test XI will not feature an opening batsman named Warner.
Given he was picked as the squad's reserve batsman, Handscomb is the likely replacement for Smith in the middle order, with Maxwell added to the group should a mishap take place between now and Friday.
Renshaw is set to land in Johannesburg on Wednesday morning SA time, while Maxwell and Burns are expected to arrive later the same day, giving the new squad members less than 48 hours to prepare for a Test match Australia must win to level the series.
Smith had already been suspended by the ICC and fined 100 per cent of his match fee after admitting he, and Australia's senior members, devised a plan to rough up the ball with a foreign agent, a task that was carried out by Test rookie Bancroft.
Bancroft escaped suspension from the ICC but was fined three-quarters of his match fee and awarded three demerit points to his disciplinary record.
But CA suspended both Bancroft and Warner – along with Smith – for the final match of the tour for their direct involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Quinton de Kock, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Duanne Olivier, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, AB de Villiers.
Australia squad: Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Matt Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Australia won by 118 runs. Scorecard
Second Test South Africa won by six wickets. Scorecard
Third Test South Africa won by 322 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage