Australia's Test squad: Chadd Sayers replaces Jackson Bird for South Africa tour

By @saihoops on
Chadd Sayers, Jackson Bird, Australia's Test squad
Cricket - Australia v South Africa - Third Test cricket match - Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, Australia - 24/11/16. Australian bowler Jackson Bird (2nd R) celebrates the wicket of South Africa's Temba Bavuna during the first day of the Third Test cricket match in Adelaide. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Chadd Sayers earned his maiden Test call-up on Tuesday when he was named in Australia's 15-man squad for the forthcoming tour of South Africa. Sayers will be replacing Jackson Bird, who injured his hamstring on Sheffield Shield duty for Tasmania last Saturday.

Sayers made the team despite his social media tirade against Cricket Australia's selectors, who named Jhye Richardson in the original Test squad for South Africa. The 30-year-old Sayers has been a consistent performer in Australia's domestic circuit, claiming 246 wickets at an average of 24.11.

Last month, Sayers demanded clarity from Cricket Australia chief selector Trevor Hohns after being snubbed from the team. Sayers claimed Tuesday that he let his emotions get the best of him.

“We’re (selectors and I) fine mate, we had a good chat about missing out, so we’re sweet. It’s obviously nice to see his name pop up on my phone. As we all know, there’s three big quicks there that are going to get the first crack as always - and they have been going brilliant over the last series. So I think I will be waiting for an injury but I’ll be over there and putting my best foot forward," the veteran pace bowler said, via Fox Sports.

Australian captain Steve Smith expressed was thrilled to include Sayers into the Test squad. “It’s disappointing for Jackson, but it’s exciting for Chadd at the same time. It’s kind of a like-for-like bowler. They both stand the seam up nicely and Chadd’s been rewarded for what he’s done in Shield cricket for the last couple of years," said Smith, who won the prestigious the Allan Border Medal on Monday for his remarkable 2017.

“It’s tough news for him (Bird). He’s a terrific guy to have around the group, he works incredibly hard. He’s just a great guy to have on tour with you -- a terrific team man. I certainly feel for him that he unfortunately has this injury at this time," added Smith, currently ranked the No. 1 Test batsman in the world.

Australia's tour of South Africa gets underway March 1 with the first Test match at Kingsmead, Durban. The four-Test series will culminate at the New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg. The tour will not include any limited-overs matches. After their trip to South Africa, Steve Smith's Australians will travel to England for five one-day-international matches in June. 

Australia's Test squad:
Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Chadd Sayers, Jon Holland, Jhye Richardson.

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