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South Africa vs Australia 2018: Australia name unchanged XI for first Test

The visitors will field the same XI that dismantled England in the final Ashes Test.

SENIOR ANALYST
News 28 Feb 2018, 16:41 IST
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Can South Africa deal with Australia's fiery bowling unit
Can South Africa deal with Australia's fiery bowling unit?

After having annihilated England in the Ashes, Australia leave the comfort of their home for a four-match Test series against South Africa.

The selectors have named the XI that is set to take the field for the first Test at Durban, with their menacing fast bowling trio coming through the three-day tour game unscathed.

While South Africa are expected to prepare pitches on the slower side to nullify the effect of the fearsome pace unit, Smith was not overly concerned by that fact while speaking to the press ahead of the game, deciding to retain the three quicks that dismantled the English batting line-up back home in the Ashes.

"I thought that they'd go with quite slow wickets or maybe green wickets," Smith said. "One of the two. I didn't think they'd have a great deal of pace. Looking at the (Kingsmead) wicket now a couple of days out, it looks like it could be quite slow, maybe not a great deal of carry. But I'm terrible at judging wickets, so it's just about summing it up when we're out there and adapting to whatever we're dealt and identifying it quickly and making sure we're doing everything we need to do on our feet quickly," he said.

Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will all feature alongside Nathan Lyon in what is set to be an unchanged side from their last encounter. Steven Smith, who sat out the tri-series against England and New Zealand, will be back to lead the side.

Australia's playing XI: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

South Africa, meanwhile, will be looking to cast aside their disastrous limited-overs series against India and summon some of the form they showed in the Test series, with skipper Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock all set to return from injury setbacks.


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