Bat us out of hell boys, Smith excited by rookies
AUSTRALIAN captain Steve Smith expressed his excitement after selectors named a raw team featuring three debutants for the third and final Test against South Africa in Adelaide.
Smith confirmed batsmen Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson would make their debuts in the Test starting at Adelaide Oval tomorrow after selectors wielded the axe following the Hobart loss which handed South Africa an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
"We've obviously made a lot of changes and some young guys have come into the squad,” Smith said.
"This series has been disappointing the way it has gone for us but I'm actually really excited about the young guys coming into the group.
"I've almost felt a little shift over the last few days in attitude and energy from what the new guys have brought in.
"I'm happy with the team that I've got.”
Jackson Bird edged out uncapped fast bowler Chadd Sayers for a place in Australia's bowling ranks.
Bird joins Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood with the selectors opting against picking an all-out pace attack for the match to be played on a green wicket 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 South Australian Sayers.
"(Bird) took five-for 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,” Smith said.
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.
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.