Preview: 3rd Test – Australia v South Africa
Who would’ve thought there would be so much interest and anticipation in a dead-rubber Test.
With the mass changes to the Australian squad and the ball-tampering charges laid against South African captain Faf du Plessis, all eyes are now on the 3rd Test starting in Adelaide this afternoon.
The hosts have made a raft of changes with three batsmen set to debut. Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson and Matt Renshaw are the beneficiaries of Australia’s poor batting displays in the first two tests.
They’ll all face a tough ask combating a fired up South African outfit desperate to return home with a three-nil series whitewash.
Australia have made five changes overall to the XI that took to the field in Hobart. Jackson Bird and Matthew Wade are the other inclusions, while you have to feel for Callum Ferguson and Joe Mennie as it looks as though they’ll only ever play one Test.
It’ll be interesting to see what impact the changes have on the Australian team. Hopefully they can show more application and fight with the bat, as losing 10 for 80 again is simply not an option.
This week the South Africans have shown plenty of fight in the airport and will show more fight on the field as they look to compound the misery for the hosts.
They have been very impressive without AB de Villiers, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and enter the day/night Test with no injury or form concerns and captain du Plessis is free to play after avoiding suspension over the ball-tampering incident.
One man the tourists will be targeting in this test is the under-pressure Nathan Lyon. If they get on top of Lyon, and with no recognised fifth bowler, they can keep Australia out in the field for a long time, heaping pressure on the new batting order.
The Adelaide Oval curator has cut the pitch slightly shorter than last year, however there should still be plenty on offer for South Africa’s in-form quicks.
The one change the Proteas might make is handing spinner Tabraiz Shamsi a Test debut, replacing Keshav Maharaj.
With Australia’s new side, South Africa’s dominance, the pink ball and day/night conditions the 3rd Test is set to be an intriguing contest.
1st – November 7-11, WACA Ground, Perth – South Africa won by 177 runs
2nd Test – November 12-16, Bellerive Oval, Hobart – South Africa won by an innings and 80 runs
3rd Test – November 24-28, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
Australia – Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood. Chadd Sayers (12th man)
South Africa – Faf Du Plessis (c), Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Vernon Philander, Kyle Abbott, Keshav Maharaj/Tabraiz Shamsi, Kagiso Rabada.