Melbourne : With Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green battling injuries, Australia’s national selectors on Friday called in reinforcements in the form of spinner Ashton Agar and batter Matthew Renshaw for the third and final Test against South Africa, starting in Sydney on January 4.
Australia has taken an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the three-match series going into the Sydney Test but injuries have hampered them in the process as bowlers have faced issues with skipper Pat Cummins, Nathan Hazlewood and now Mitchell Starc facing various issues at various times.
Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green suffered injuries in the innings and 182-run victory against South Africa in the second Test against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
With sweltering conditions in Melbourne, David Warner, who struck a double hundred in his 100th Test, also had to retire hurt due to cramps. Starc is unavailable with a small fracture to his left middle finger while Green misses out with a fracture to his right index finger, Cricket Australia informed in a release on Friday.
Josh Hazlewood is available for selection having recovered from a minor side strain while Mitchell Starc (finger) and Cameron Green (finger) have not been considered due to injuries sustained in Melbourne.
Selector Tony Dodemaide said: “Ashton offers a second spin option should the Sydney pitch be conducive to turn, as it has done in the past. He also brings a solid batting component. “Matthew is included as a versatile batting option who is in good form, including an unbeaten century in the recent PM’s XI tour match against the West Indies,” he said.
“In terms of fast bowlers, it’s a blessing to have Josh (Hazlewood) returning while Lance (Morris) offers a genuine point of difference with his raw pace and skill. This squad will cover all bases for when we get to Sydney and assess the conditions closer to the Test match,” Dodemaide was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia on Friday.
The 14-player Australian squad for the third Test against South Africa:
Pat Cummins (captain), Steve Smith, David Warner, Ashton Agar, Matthew Renshaw, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris,