The Herald (South Africa)

Australian paceman Bird out of SA tour


PACEMAN Jackson Bird was ruled out of Australia’s test squad for South Africa yesterday with a hamstring injury and replaced by fellow speedster Chadd Sayers.

Bird pulled his hamstring while bowling in a domestic match last weekend and is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks, opening the door for the uncapped Sayers.

“It’s disappoint­ing for Jackson, but it is exciting for Chadd at the same time,” Australian captain Steve Smith said.

“It’s kind of a like for like sort of bowler, they’re pretty similar. They both stand the seam up nicely and Chadd’s been rewarded for what he has done in Shield cricket over the last couple of years, which is great.”

Sayers was the leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield last season, with 62 victims.

“He’s a difficult one to face,” Smith said. “Because he is so short not many balls go over the stumps, which makes him a pretty handy propositio­n when the ball is seaming around. I think it is a good selection.”

Sayers joins fellow quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins and Jye Richardson for the four-test South Africa series, which kicks off on March 1.

Australia squad: Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.

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