Tasmania quick Jackson Bird has beat out Chadd Sayers for the third seam bowling spot in Australia’s XI for the third Commonwealth Bank Test against South Africa.
Bird joins Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood as pace bowlers in the Australia XI with the selectors opting against picking an all-out pace attack for a match to be played on a green Adelaide Oval pitch and under lights.
The 29-year-old Tasmanian Tiger has taken 11 wickets at 22.73 in two twilight Sheffield Shield matches, and that form with the pink ball has won him selection over the local lad Sayers.
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
"(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," Australia captain Steve Smith said.
"Unlucky for Chadd missing out on his home ground but we’ve gone with Jackson Bird."
Australia will debut three batsman in Queensland’s Matthew Renshaw, Victorian Peter Handscomb and the NSW Blues' Nic Maddinson.
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"We’ve obviously made a lot of changes, and some young guys have come into the squad," Smith said today.
"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.
"I’ve almost felt a little shift in the last couple of days in attitude and energy from what the new guys have brought in."
Not since 2011, when David Warner, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson all received their Baggy Greens, has Australia blooded so many debutants in a Test.
Hard-hitting Maddinson has represented Australia in two T20 internationals and the Test captain hopes his new teammate can bring the fireworks in the five-day format.
"On his day he can tear any attack apart,” Smith said.
"The selectors have given him an opportunity to come in and play at No.6 and sum up the conditions and play with a bit of freedom at the same time.
"He’s developed his defence over the last couple of years. I haven’t seen him a heap of him playing in the last couple of years, but what I have seen he’s playing the ball a lot later, a lot more under his eyes, which is a very good start.
"From there he’s certainly got the shots to expand his game.
"He’s going to continue to work hard and hopefully he can flourish in this system."
South Africa will name their XI at the toss after captain Faf du Plessis was cleared to play despite being found guilty of ball tampering by the ICC.
Du Plessis was fined 100 per cent of his match fee from the Hobart Test with three demerit points added to his disciplinary record.
Australia, facing their first whitewash in a home Test series since federation, will have used a total of 19 players in the three-match series.
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