Australia opt for Siddle in first Test against Proteas


Skipper Steve Smith confirmed his side at the pre-match conference allowing Mennie to play for his state side South Australia in the Sheffield Shield. He will rejoin the squad for the second Test in Hobart next week.

"They're both bowling well," Smith said of Siddle and Mennie. "They're the sort of bowlers who can bowl consistent areas, keep the runs down. I guess it complements the other guys. "We've gone with Sidds on this occasion and it's good to have him back after a fair injury layoff."

Siddle has only played four Shield matches since sustaining severe fractures in his back. He played his last Test back in February against New Zealand at Wellington. In addition to the back ailments, Siddle also had surgery on his left ankle to treat a chronic ankle injury.

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Despite being unsure of his place in the Australian line-up ahead of this first Test, the veteran seamer has been very vocal in the build-up. He stated earlier that South Africa's impressive young fast bowler Kagiso Rabada was “the man we can sort of target” and also said that “there will be a fair bit of pressure” on the 21-year-old tearaway.

All this bravado may be a bit of gamble though with Australia also welcoming back premier fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood into their line-up after the new-ball duo missed the recent One-Day International series back in South Africa last month. While initially they were both being rested for this much-anticipated series, Starc though suffered a deep laceration to his leg and has only just returned to competitive cricket.

Smith, who played in Starc’s comeback game last week for New South Wales, claims he will adopt manage the workload of his big left-arm fast bowler closely and could predominantly utilise him in short spell, especially with the temperatures rising rapidly here in Perth.

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"The big guns, are back which is nice," Smith said. "But it is a lot to get through, we will just have to weigh it up Test by Test, some Tests might happen a bit quicker and they won't bowl a lot of overs, so they will be ok. I guess it is about summing it up over the summer and making sure we have somebody ready to go if we do have guys break down or big spikes in their workloads and the medical staff get worried about them,” Smith said.

"It is important and you never know they are quite fresh they might be able to sustain things a little bit longer than perhaps the medical staff would like them to, they are fresh and ready to go ...”

Australia team for the Waca

David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

Independent Media

Australia have chosen the experience of Peter Siddle over the uncapped Joe Mennie for the first Test against South Africa.

Original source: Australia opt for Siddle in first Test against Proteas