Qantas Tour of South Africa

Australia name Test, T20 squads

Test squad to face South Africa picked while BBL stars to play trans-Tasman T20 tri-series

Sam Ferris

22 January 2018, 11:01 PM

Selectors, new faces discuss Test and T20 squads

Victorian spinner Jon Holland and Western Australian fast bowler Jhye Richardson are the bolters in Australia's 15-man squad for the Qantas Tour of South Africa, while Hobart Hurricanes run machine D'Arcy Short is set to make his international debut after he was picked for the Gillette T20 INTL Series.

Steve Smith will be rested for the T20 international tri-series with David Warner to lead the squad that features Melbourne Stars allrounder Glenn Maxwell.

Holland, who played his only two Tests in Sri Lanka in August 2016, has leap-frogged Western Australia left-arm spinner Ashton Agar to be Nathan Lyon's deputy.

The left-armer has played two JLT Sheffield Shield matches this summer for combined returns of 11-205, and was last season's most successful spinner with 50 wickets at 20.78 runs apiece.

Holland finds form quickly in Shield return

"We envisage the wickets we will see in South Africa will not warrant the need to play two spinners," said national selector Trevor Hohns.

"Therefore, should Nathan not be able to play at any stage, we wanted to have the best specialist spinner available to us and based on current red ball form Jon warrants that spot."

Western Australia paceman Jhye Richardson is the only uncapped member for the touring party, but the 21-year-old has had a taste of international cricket having made his ODI debut at the Gabba last Friday, taking 2-57 against England.

Richardson grabs his maiden ODI wicket

The squad features five players with Test-match experience in South Africa, with skipper Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon and Shaun Marsh playing in 2014, while Pat Cummins made his debut as a teenager at the Wanderers.

After struggling to convert starts in his maiden Test series, opener Cameron Bancroft has retained his place in the squad, as has Victoria captain Peter Handscomb, who was dropped after two Tests in the Magellan Ashes.

While winning away from home has become increasingly difficult in the past decade, Australia have not lost a Test series in South Africa since the Proteas' readmission to international cricket.

Australia have won five out of seven series since 1994, including the epic 2-1 win four years ago when Ryan Harris famously captured two wickets in three balls to seal victory with less than five overs remaining in the match.

Harris's epic inside tale of 2014 Cape Town decider

Warner is the only member of the Test squad that will remain with the T20 unit while Smith takes a break after scoring a mountain of runs in Australia's successful Magellan Ashes campaign.

"Steve has had a very big summer and will benefit from a short break both physically and mentally, before he leaves for South Africa," Hohns said.

"David is a very capable leader and has captained in Steve's absence before and done a fine job.

"We wanted to ensure the T20 side had key leadership throughout this Series and we know the team is in good hands with him at the helm."

The T20I squad boasts some Australia's most powerful batsmen, headlined by Brisbane Heat master blaster Chris Lynn, Stars pair Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis, and Short, the KFC BBL leading run-scorer this summer.

Short makes history at the Gabba with century

"D'Arcy's selection speaks for itself, he is the leading run scorer in the BBL and has also taken valuable wickets when handed the ball," said national selector Mark Waugh.

"He is in outstanding form and we look forward to seeing what he can bring to this T20 side."

Sydney Sixers left-armer Ben Dwarshius has been rewarded for his consistent performances this season, and while he's captured just the six wickets in seven matches, his economy rate of 6.64 is one of the best in the competition. 

The first Test starts on March 1 in Durban before matches in Port Elizabeth (March 9), Cape Town (March 22) and Johannesburg (March 30).

Australia host the first leg of the T20I tri-series, squaring off against New Zealand at the SCG on February 3 then England at Blundstone Arena and the MCG on February 7 and 10, respectively.

The series then travels across the Tasman Sea, where Australia take on the Black Caps at Eden Park on February 16 before the tournament final at the same venue four days later.

Those players not involved in the T20I squad will travel to South Africa in February 15 ahead of a three-day tour match in Benoni from February 22.

TEST SQUAD: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird, Jon Holland, Jhye Richardson.

T20 SQUAD: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

Qantas tour of South Africa

Warm-up match v SA Invitational XI, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24

First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5. 

Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13

Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26

Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3