Qantas Tour of South Africa

Sayers swings in for Test debut

Prolific paceman set to become to Test player No.452 in what shapes as a new-look Australia XI

Sam Ferris, at The Wanderers, Johannesburg

30 March 2018, 05:50 PM

Debutant Sayers receives Baggy Green from Voges

South Australia seam bowler Chadd Sayers will make his Test debut against South Africa at The Wanderers today.

Sayers will be Australia’s 452nd men’s Test cricketer. 

Former Australia Test batsman Adam Voges presented Sayers with his Baggy Green cap an hour before play in Johannesburg.

"I just said to him he's worked incredibly hard to get to this point," Voges told cricket.com, when asked about his speech.

"He's made a lot of sacrifices and should just be himself.

"I've known Chadd for a long time, played against him a lot. We've had some terrific battles.

"(Australia) now have an opportunity to begin the healing process. To try and regain a bit of what has been lost in what has been an incredibly difficult week hopefully this is a good start with Chadd's debut and the guys can play well."

Voges presents Sayers with his Baggy Green // Cricket Network
Voges presents Sayers with his Baggy Green // Cricket Network

Sayers has replaced spearhead Mitchell Starc, the left-armer who has been ruled out with a tibial stress fracture in his right leg.

The final XI was confirmed at the toss by new skipper Tim Paine,with openers Matthew Renshaw and Joe Burns along with middle-order batter Peter Handscomb coming into the side.

Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have all flown home and been suspended for their involvement in the Cape Town ball-tampering incident.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis won the toss and batted first, and Sayers shared the new ball with Josh Hazlewood.

Banned Australian players break their silence

The 30-year-old was a late call-up to the Qantas Tour of South Africa after Tasmania paceman Jackson Bird was ruled out with a hamstring injury in the final round of JLT Sheffield Shield matches before the Test squad left Australian shores. 

Having toured with Australia’s Test squad to New Zealand in 2016, Sayers came within a whisker of selection on his home turf in Adelaide later that year for the third Test against the Proteas, but missed to Bird.

Watch all of Chadd Sayers' 62 Shield wickets

A short right-armer capable of swinging the ball both ways, he captured 62 wickets in the 2016-17 Shield season as the Redbacks finished runners-up to Victoria.

After originally missing selection for the tour, Sayers publicly questioned why he didn't receive any feedback about his omission.

He has since cleared the air with chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

With a gift for guile, Sayers has likened himself to Proteas swing and seam specialist Vernon Philander, who the South Australian points out bowls with an similar absence of express pace.

Philander has proved South Africa's most successful Test bowler since his memorable debut against Australia at Cape Town in 2011.

October: Sayers strikes in Shield to remove Smith

"I've been watching him ever since he started," Sayers said of Philander who claimed 5-15 as Australia were skittled for 47 in his maiden Test and now boasts 195 wickets at 22.18 from his 53 appearances.

"I guess we're similar bowlers, not the fiery big quicks and just put the ball on the spot and let that do the talking."

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