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Jackson Bird, three debutants included in Australia squad for Adelaide Test

Australia will play three debutants, Matt Renshaw, Nic Maddinson and Peter Handscomb for the Day-Night Test against South Africa in Adelaide.

cricket Updated: Nov 23, 2016 15:02 IST
Jackson Bird,Steven Smith,Faf du Plessis
Jackson Bird, who last played a Test against New Zealand in Christchurch in 2016, has been included in the Day-Night Test against South Africa in Adelaide.(Reuters)

Jackson Bird will play as Australia’s third pace bowler in the Day-Night Test against South Africa in Adelaide, skipper Steve Smith said.

Tasmania’s Bird pipped Adelaide-born fast bowler Chadd Sayers to the last spot with under-fire spinner Nathan Lyon holding on to his place in the pink-ball, third and final Test which starts Thursday.

“Jackson Bird is in,” Smith told reporters.

“He took five-for in his last Test match. He’s bowled well with the pink ball in the (Sheffield) Shield games he’s played.

“He’s batted well in the nets here and he deserves an opportunity. So it’s unlucky for Chadd (Sayers) to be missing out on his home ground, but we’ve gone with Jackson Bird.”

That means Australia will field three debutants in Adelaide -- English-born opener Matt Renshaw and middle-order batsmen Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson.

Smith said he wanted to play a spinner in Adelaide, which has a reputation for taking spin.

“We were always keen on playing a spinner in this game and that’s the way we’ve gone with Nathan Lyon,” Smith said.

Heavy defeats in the first and second Tests have plunged Australia into crisis, prompting the chief selector to quit and a dramatic team shake-up with six players axed for the Adelaide Test.

Australia squad for Adelaide Test

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

First Published: Nov 23, 2016 10:18 IST