A dry pitch was published at SCG. This is the surface that propelled Australia to his three key changes in his third Test against South Africa.
Matt Renshaw and Ashton Agar, who returned a positive RAT on Wednesday morning, exited test exile, while Josh Hazlewood replaced Scott Boland as one of the two fast bowlers in Australia’s XI.
Australia won the toss and are 1-33, with Ousman Khawadja (14) and Marnuth Rabshagyu (7) at the crease.
David Warner launched an immediate attack but died 10 runs off 11 balls after slashing Henrich Nolce’s delivery outside the stumps.
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Expected to spin like traditional Sydney wickets, the SCG pitch has been unused for 15 years.
Speaking about Fox Cricket’s SCG pitch, Alyssa Healy said, “I’ve never seen anything like it in my life.”
Within the first hour of play, the pitch was showing signs of blemishes from the South African fast bowlers’ follow through.
“Interesting scars already on the right side,” Kelly O’Keeffe said. “Is that a sign?
“Wow. It’s been 45 minutes… the spinner is starting to grease my fingers.
Australia thought run-scoring was ostensibly difficult and opted for a longer line-up of batsmen with the inclusion of Renshaw despite testing positive for Covid.
With only two seamers in the attack, Australia are short of options for fast bowling and the rare part-time medium of Marnus Labuschagne.
The gamble looks even bigger when you consider that this is Hazelwood’s first match since the first Test at Perth, but it’s his fourth in just over a year.
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“He’s definitely feeling the pressure and doesn’t want to let the team down,” Sean Pollock said of Hazlewood. would want to ease the way to a test match.”
Mike Hussey added:
“Obviously the two spinners will bowl a lot, but Labouchagne may bowl a few overs, Steve Smith and Travis Head may also bowl a few overs. It’s going to be a different Australian attack.”
South Africa, meanwhile, have signed Heinrich Klaessen and spinner Simon Hamer, and have ruled out Teunis De Bruyne and Lungi Ngidi.
Australia XI:David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Manus Rabshagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Renshaw, Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (c), Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
South Africa XI: Dean Elgar (c) Sarel Erwee, Heinrich Klaasen, Temba Bavuma, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Verreynne, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Simon Harmer, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje
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Fox Cricket’s Kerry O’Keeffe said spin would play an important role in the test before play.
“This could be a Sloman fight,” he told Fox Sports News.
“Everybody thought this series might be won by the fast guys, but the Australian fast guys have clinched it (so far), but over the next five days the slower guys could really come into their own. have a nature
Australian legend Alan Border agreed, saying he would play two spinners.
“Looking at the track this morning, definitely I would play (two spinners)… (the pitch) has a traditional feel,” he told Fox Sports News.
“The surface is crumbly and very dry. It is grassy but a bit mottled, so spin definitely plays a big role in this game.
“Traditionally the ball turns here, but the years of turf on the surface still upset quickie players, but we’ll see a little more of the traditional turning track It’s good, it hits fine for the first few days, but then the ball spins.”
Meanwhile, O’Keeffe said it was a big test for Agar ahead of his India tour in February.
“This is a test trial for him…Agar has a great chance of becoming the second spinner to India,” he said.
“He’s become a T20 specialist – …and his numbers in T20 cricket are great. His test numbers are low…he’s unproven and he’s been playing Tests for years. No, but they (Australian selectors) like his jib cut.”
O’Keeffe also backed Renshaw to carry out a recall to the Australian side.
“Matt Renshaw has a big watch. I think he’s a lot better than the last time he played.
“…he was flawed on forward defense. He had a lot of nick-offs. He didn’t get through cover. If you look at his wagon wheels, he gets through cover a lot.” He’s very powerful…Through the side of his leg, he grabs onto anything that isn’t fully satisfied.
“I think he’s a different kettle of fish than the last time people saw him and I’m very excited about him. I think he’s a player who can serve Australia for years to come.
SCG curator Adam Lewis said on Tuesday that surfaces are good for spinners, but he didn’t say selectors should use two tweaks.
“We want a traditional SCG pitch,” Lewis said.
“It’s completely different to what we’ve seen in the last few years. Several players told me it looked like wickets from a decade or so ago, which gave me a little more confidence.
“Thin turf, mottled, probably not the best looking pitch I have ever seen, but I am looking forward to it and I did the best I could. Hopefully it will be a really good test. prize.
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“It’s nice to be on the grass, but I’m not a selector.”
The SCG deck has a romantic feel to it, and Lewis and his team chose Pitch 3. Pitch 3 has not been used for Test his matches since his three Australian greats retired together during the 2006/07 Ashes.
Warne took just two wickets in that Test in a win for England, with fast bowlers doing the damage.
“When we were doing our research, we found out that Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer were doing the final test on Pitch 3, so the plan was to keep that in the back of our minds,” said Lewis. said.
“We tried to bring as much grass onto Pitch 5 as we could, but the amount we played for the entire season wasn’t enough.
“Knowing that Shane Warne and they did the last test on the 3, it just felt right, so we put our energy into the 3.”
The selection in Sydney has its sights set on a blockbuster tour of India next month.
“It’s a big connection with India,” Cummins said.
“Fast bowling and reverse swings will come in and that’s what we can expect in India.
“There will probably be more spinovers here. Our hitters will probably face more spins here as well. may be a little different, so it will be a really good preparation.”
The weather is also set to factor in the match, with up to 15mm of rain expected on Wednesday, with showers expected from the 2nd to the 4th.