Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc return for South Africa encounter

Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc return for South Africa encounter
Mitchell Starc will bolster the Australian bowling line-up against South Africa on Sunday.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Australia have included Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc in the playing XI in the place of Travis Head and Nathan Coulter-Nile for the Sunday's encounter against South Africa in Barbados in the ongoing tri-series in the West Indies.

The news was confirmed by the Australian skipper Steven Smith, who took part in a long net session in Barbados after missing two consecutive training sessions.

Smith is hoping that being dropped from the squad earlier in the series will serve as a wake-up call for Maxwell, who has been dismissed for a duck three times in his last five innings.

“He (Maxwell) sat out the last couple and hopefully that’s been a bit of a wake-up call for him.

“We know what we want from him, it’s a bit more consistency and that’s what the selectors have told him.

“He gets an opportunity and hopefully he’ll make the most of that.

“I had a word to him the other day just about clearing his mind and going out there and just playing good cricket shots.

“I think we’ve seen when Maxi is at his best he’s actually not thinking too much, so it was just reinforcing those messages.”

Furthermore, Smith said that Maxwell has been batting well in the nets and is looking forward to the hard-hitting all-rounder getting a few big knocks under his belt in the upcoming games.

“I watched him bat pretty closely in the nets yesterday and I thought he played particularly well, especially against the fast bowlers.

“So hopefully he’s continuing to learn and hopefully he’ll get amongst the runs in the next couple of games.”

Additionally, Smith revealed he has not fully recovered from his thigh injury but asserted that it will not keep him from taking part in the match against the Proteas.

Smith is also confident that he will be back to his full fitness in time for the tour of Sri Lanka which gets underway next month.

“It’s been a bit sore ... I think it’s one of those injuries where I might not be able to go at 100 percent, but I think I’ll be right for the game,” he said.

“You want to be as close to 100 per cent as you can be, but that’s part of playing international sport, particularly playing cricket for Australia.

“You have to run with it and I think I understand my body a lot better these days and I can manage these little injuries. So hopefully I’ll be OK tomorrow.

“Sri Lanka is still a fair way away, it’s about five weeks until the first Test match there.”

With two wins from four games and one bonus point in the ongoing tri-series, Australia are currently sitting in the second spot in the points table.

Australia squad v South Africa:

Usman Khawaja, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith (c), George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland, Adam Zampa (one to be omitted)

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