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Test cricket: South Africa’s best bowling attack coming to Australia

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South Africa will bring one of the strongest bowling attacks in Test cricket to Australia this summer after naming a near full-strength squad for the three-Test showdown.

The series will be the first Test matches between the two nations since the sandpaper scandal rocked the Australian tour of South Africa in 2018.

It’s also the first Test series between the two nations in Australia for six years, the last coming when South Africa famously rolled the hosts for 85 on a green Hobart wicket that cost several players their Test spots before the tourists went on to win 2-1.

Top-order batter Keegan Petersen is the only first-choice player not available due to a hamstring injury, but the full battery of fast bowlers will be coming to provide the Australian batting line-up a significant test.

Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje, who was named in the T20 World Cup team of the tournament, all made it through unscathed and were included in the 16-man squad named by South African selectors.

Dean Elgar will captain South Africa, and in a big boost for the visitors, key batter Rassie van der Dussen has recovered from the finger injury that ended his tour of England in July.

“We are pleased with the group of players that have been assembled for this tour. I think the selectors now have a core group of Proteas that has been built and it is just about building on what we have,” South African selection boss Victor Mpitsang said.

“Overall, all the players selected undoubtedly have the ability to play at the highest level, and evidence of that is our standing on the ICC World Test Championship table.

“We are confident that if they play to their ability, we can challenge Australia in their conditions.”

South Africa has won the past three Test series in Australia, with the host nation having won just two of the past nine clashes at home between the two countries.

But the tourists will present a different looking team from the last time they met in 2018, having blooded eight debutants in the last 18 months. Only four players – Dean Elgar, Temba Bavuma, Kagiso Rabada and spinner Keshav Maharaj – survive from the 2018 meeting.

Australia is on top of the World Test Championship, with South Africa second.

A series win could guarantee Australia a spot in next year’s final at Lord’s.

South Africa tour of Australia

Dec 9-12: Tour game in Brisbane

Dec 17-21: 1st Test in Brisbane

Dec 26-30: 2nd Test in Melbourne

Jan 4-8: 3rd Test, Sydney

South Africa squad: Dean Elgar (c), Temba Bavuma, Gerald Coetzee, Theunis de Bruyn, Sarel Eree, Simon Harmer, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Heinrich Klaasen, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Kagiso Rabada, Glenton Stuurman, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne, Khaya Zondo.

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