All you need to know about Australia's three new Test debutants
By the time the second Test at Hobart ended, Australian selectors could take it no more. Their team had just lost five Test matches on the trot (first three to Sri Lanka) and furthermore, they have been humiliated in almost all of them.
The smallest margin of defeat was by 106 runs in Pallekele and the worst? Well, they were beaten by an innings and 80 runs in the last Test at Hobart where the South African bowlers literally feasted on the batsmen bowling them out for 85 and 161.
Now, desperate times call for desperate measures and the team management decided to axe five of their players who featured in the last game.
A day prior to the third and the final Test which will be played under lights at Adelaide, the captain Steve Smith announced they have brought back the likes of wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade and pacer Jackson Bird. Smith also added opener Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson will be making their Test debut in the game. Now when was the last time there were three debutants together?
In this article, we will look into all these three players and what they have done so far in their domestic career.
#1 Matt Renshaw
Renshaw is just 20, which makes him the second youngest batter to debut for the national side in the last three decades. Only the late Phillip Hughes was younger, at 19 when he was handed his debut in 2009.
He was born to British parents in Yorkshire, England. His parents left England and moved to New Zealand when Renshaw was just seven. They finally settled in Australia three years later.
What helped the youngster grab a spot in the team was two innings of 108 and 50 in Queensland's Sheffield Shield win over South Australia last weekend which also helped him in taking his tally of first-class runs beyond 1,000.
Yes! Renshaw has just got 1021 First Class runs. Earlier, batsmen would have to score 1,000 runs each season for years before they were called by the national selectors.
Also, for the record, the decorated left-hander averages 44.39, which might not be brilliant but it will do. The mean puts him amidst the likes of former Australian batsmen like Mark Waugh, David Boon, Mark Taylor and Michael Slater.
Last year, as a 19-year-old Renshaw became the youngest man ever to smash his way to a Sheffield Shield century for Queensland. On a difficult wicket, he gathered 170 runs from 395 deliveries. He is also sometimes compared to former Australian opener Matthew Hayden for his stature and height.
#2 Peter Handscomb
Peter Handscomb is a talented right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper aged 25. He also has a British citizenship as both his parents are English immigrants to Australia.
Handscomb has featured in English club cricket and also played for Leicestershire in the Second XI Championship. The youngster excels in tennis other than cricket and was also a junior level tennis player.
He also represented Australia in the U-19 team in 2009. In his first-class debut for his state side Victoria in 2011, he scored a gritty 71 off 212 balls which earned him high praises from all quarters.
Many Australian batsmen find spin bowling quite difficult to play but Handscomb is considered to be a very good player of spin.
His biggest strength is his never give up attitude. After passing through two years without a first-class century, Handscomb rallied back with 647 runs in the 2014-15 season, averaging 53.91 and scoring three hundreds.
What propelled him to the national side was a career best 215 against New South Wales in a Sheffield Shield game on 17th November, just six days back.
#3 Nic Maddinson
Maddinson has been considered a Test match batsman in waiting for a number of years now and like Renshaw he made an impressive start to his first-class career.
The 24-year-old made his First Class debut against South Australia in October of 2010 and blasted his way to a ton in the very first innings which made him the youngest player in the history of New South Wales cricket to do so.
Maddinson is one of those left handers who can hit the long ball at will and therefore has an explosive strike rate in all formats. In the two T20 Internationals he has featured in, he has scored 38 runs at a whopping strike rate of 172.72.
He has always made headlines for his cricket since his first-class debut but perhaps his most memorable moment came in a Matador Cup game three years back, when he was caught eating a sandwich while fielding.
He pulled out the sandwich in between deliveries had a quick bite and tucked it back into his pocket to have it again later!
Well, Australia will be hoping all three will come good for them when they take the pink ball challenge at the Adelaide Oval against an upbeat South African side.