Aus­tralia wield the axe for third S Africa Test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SYD­NEY: Aus­tralia’s se­lec­tors have re­sponded to the threat of a first ever test series sweep on home soil by drop­ping five play­ers from their squad for the third match against South Africa, which be­gins in Ade­laide on Thurs­day.

Joe Burns, Adam Vo­ges and Cal­lum Fer­gu­son, as well as wick­et­keeper Peter Nevill, paid the price for a string of bat­ting col­lapses, while seamer Joe Men­nie was also axed af­ter the in­nings de­feat in the sec­ond Test in Ho­bart.

Four un­capped play­ers-open­ers Matt Ren­shaw and Nic Maddin­son, wick­et­keeper-bats­man Peter Hand­scomb and seamer Chadd Say­ers-came into the 12-man squad.

Wick­et­keeper-bats­man Matthew Wade and seamer Jack­son Bird, both given pre­vi­ous chances at Test level be­fore be­ing dis­carded, were also re­called.

South Africa have en­sured a third straight series tri­umph in Aus­tralia with thump­ing vic­to­ries in Perth and Ho­bart, ren­der­ing the day-night third Test a dead rub­ber and plung­ing the host na­tion into cri­sis.

Chief se­lec­tor Rod Marsh stood down from his post ahead of sched­ule last week and so on Sun­day it was his tem­po­rary re­place­ment Trevor Hohns who wielded the axe in Ade­laide.

“Matt has es­tab­lished him­self in a short pe­riod of time as one of the best young open­ing bats in the coun­try,” Hohns said.

“Peter’s form over the last cou­ple of sea­sons has been very con­sis­tent. He has a good all-round game and we think he is the type of player who could suc­ceed at the next level.

“Nic is an ex­cit­ing and tal­ented young player and we feel now is the ideal time for him to be in­volved with the Australian team.” Coach Dar­ren Lehmann sug­gested af­ter the Ho­bart de­feat that only cap­tain Steve Smith, his vice-cap­tain David Warner and seam­ers Josh Ha­zle­wood and Mitchell Starc were se­cure and the se­lec­tion panel was true to his word.

Top order bats­man Us­man Khawaja, who has been re­called and dis­carded reg­u­larly since mak­ing his de­but dur­ing the 2010-11 Ashes series, also sur­vived along with off-spin­ner Nathan Lyon.

Say­ers and Bird are likely to be in con­tention for one spot in the pace at­tack along with Starc and Ha­zle­wood, while Wade looks set to re­place Nevill be­hind the stumps.

“Chadd bowls very well in Ade­laide and Jack­son is com­ing off a strong per­for­mance in his last Test match ear­lier in the year and both de­serve their chance,” Hohns added.

“Matthew has worked ex­tremely hard on his keep­ing in the past few sea­sons and we con­sider it to have im­proved sub­stan­tially. He is also a very valu­able player with the bat and will add to the depth in our bat­ting order.”

Squad: Steve Smith (cap­tain), David Warner, Jack­son Bird, Peter Hand­scomb, Josh Ha­zle­wood, Us­man Khawaja, Nic Maddin­son, Nathan Lyon, Matt Ren­shaw, Chadd Say­ers, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade.

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