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Who should Australia pick to play South Africa?

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Roar Guru
20th January, 2021
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With the Australian Test team coming off a disappointing series loss against India, all eyes will turn to who they will select in their next series against the South Africans.

And there could be plenty of changes coming too. Here’s two changes to the Australian XI that I think could possibly happen.

#1 Drop/rest Starc for Neser or Abbott
Mitch Starc hasn’t been at his peak recently, especially in the Test series against the Indians. He wasn’t at his economical best, conceding 3.2 runs per over (3.6 in the last two matches). He averaged a wicket every 40.7 runs, and struck every 74.7 balls.

That’s not very good at all.

What he needs is a bit of a rest/dropped out of the side. Now despite not playing for the past few months, either Sean Abbott or Michael Neser should be brought in. And, despite how handy Neser could be with both bat and ball, I think it should be Abbott.

He was very handy for NSW the first few Sheffield Shield games, taking 14 wickets at an average of 17.9, striking every 39.7 balls, and scoring 261 runs at an average of 130.5, including two fifties and one hundred. If Starc does get dropped/rested, he should be the first choice to replace him.

Sydney Sixers player Sean Abbott bowling

Sean Abbott plays well in the pyjamas, but can he make an impact in the whites? (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

#2 Drop Wade for Head, McDermott or Henriques
Matty Wade hasn’t been in the best of form recently in the four match Test series, scoring 173 runs at only an average of 21.6.

Now players such as Joe Burns, Dave Warner, Will Pucovski and Travis Head may’ve scored fewer runs, but Wade batted for all eight innings.


Despite playing both as opener and in the middle order, Wade needs to be dropped. And one of either Head, Ben McDermott or Moises Henriques should come in. This could be a tough choice given how solid they’ve been recently. But I think it should be Ben McDermott.

He’s been in superb form this summer, scoring a combined 752 runs in the Sheffield Shield and Big Bash, averaging 53.7 and hitting seven fifties along the way. The Australian selectors may want him over in New Zealand, but I reckon he could potentially be handy in the Test arena as well.

But we will still never know what will happen or what the Australian selectors are planning. And we won’t know until late this month or early next month.

However if they decide to make these changes then the Aussies could be enhanced for their series against South Africa and New Zealand.