The opening three-test series cricket match between Australia and South Africa kicks off today at 1.30pm AEDT.
The Australian side will be without Mitchell Johnson, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and Michael Clarke in the match.
Australian captain Steve Smith chose his side and opted to take experience rather than fresh blood. Smith chose Peter Siddle who has played 62 test matches over the awaiting uncapped fast bowler, Joe Mennie. Opening batsman David Warner told reporters he is happy to see Siddle back in the team after hurting his back in February.
“He feels fit, he’s bowling good line and length, and he was troubling our batsmen in the nets.
“He’s one of those bowlers when he hits [a difficult] line and length and there’s a little bit in that wicket he’s hard to face.
“He’s been our rock for many years now and he’s got the games under him and the experience to know what to bring out here.”
The other bowlers will be the lightning quick Mitchell Starc (who returns from a leg injury), the consistent Josh Hazlewood, and elusive spinner Nathan Lyon.
The wicket is expected to be bouncy, which will help bowlers like Siddle, Starc, and Dale Steyn to do their work and trouble the batsman.
Throughout the week, Steyn told media captain smith was the head of the snake and if South Africa could “cut the head off the snake”, the rest of the team would fall away.
“Pretty interesting. I think we’ve got a lot of batters in our lineup capable of getting runs,” Captain Steve Smith responded.
“They [South Africa] can think that way if they like. Hopefully, they get rid of me and think the rest is going to happen … that’ll be nice.”
The official Australian line-up will include David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (c), Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wk), Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood.
With batsmen like Quinton De Kock, Faf Du Plessis, AB De Villiers, JP Duminy and Hashim Amla, South Africa will be tough to beat. – Jesse Mullens
Photo of Steve Smith and AB De Villiers from the Cricket Australia Twitter feed.