Chadd Sayers has been the most prolific Sheffield Shield wicket-taker of the past four seasons © Getty Images and Cricket Australia
Chadd Sayers is set to make it four of a possible four debutants for Australia in the day/night Test at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
ESPNcricinfo understands Sayers will join Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson as part of the most drastically changed Australian Test team in more than 30 years, reflecting the dire circumstances in which he will enter the arena.
Having been the most prolific Sheffield Shield wicket-taker of the past four seasons, Sayers will be granted the chance to swerve and seam the pink ball at the Adelaide Oval, where he plays for South Australia.
The selectors have had Sayers in their thoughts since he was taken to New Zealand earlier this year. However, a foot injury sustained during the Sheffield Shield final on his return left him without a full pre-season, nor the opportunity to bowl for Australia A. Instead it was Sayers’ teammate Joe Mennie who got the first chance after Peter Siddle suffered a recurrence of a back complaint during the Perth Test.
Sayers had first played for Australia A on a tour of the British Isles in 2013, after which he was told he did not have enough pace. “I guess when you are taking wickets and then told you are not quick enough you probably question why,” Sayers said after South Australia’s most recent Shield match, against Queensland in Brisbane.
“But I pushed on, kept taking wickets and here I am. I am never going to be a bloke who blasts sides out. If I get the chance I am not going to change anything – I am going to keep doing what got me this far.”
The inclusion of Sayers leaves only the question of whether or not Australia will go for four seamers in Adelaide or choose the spin of Nathan Lyon, who narrowly kept his place in the squad due mainly to a calf injury to Steve O’Keefe.
Jackson Bird, the other seam option, is back in the squad after being told he had been left out of the Perth squad due to Mennie’s superior lower-order batting. He played in a recent Shield match in Adelaide where Sayers claimed 11 wickets to rout Tasmania.
“Chadd’s been the best performer in Shield cricket for the last couple of years,” Bird said. “We played him here a few weeks ago and he hit the same spot every time and got 11 wickets for the match.
“He bowls an immaculate line and length, and he’s got a great record here in Adelaide.”
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo