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Aussies hoping Mennie’s hands make light work of South Africa

Fri, Oct 28, 5:15pm by Jake Equid

South Australian fast bowler Joe Mennie has been named in the Australian squad for the upcoming three Test series against South Africa which begins at the WACA next Thursday.

The announcement was a shock to many but his tally of 51 wickets for the last Sheffield Shield season was seven more than his closest challenger, team-mate Daniel Worrall.

Mennie’s excellent consistency is backed up by a cracking season average of 21.21 and in a further surprise, Mennie didn’t actually record a five-wicket-haul for the season with his best figures of 4-50 against WA.

Australian selectors have cited Mennie’s handy lower order batting as the reason he was selected over Tasmania’s Jackson Bird. Mennie has made almost 1000 first class runs at an average of just over 18.

The move follows the South Australian’s inclusion in last month’s Australian ODI tour of South Africa, which the tourists lost 5-0.

Mennie had figures of 0-82 and 3-49 in two matches against the Proteas.

Bird, who had been viewed as a likely inclusion in the squad, bolstered his case with returns of 3=75 and 3-59 in Tasmania’s Shield match against Victoria at the MCG, but selectors opted for Mennie.

His action has been likened to the great Max Walker, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. Mennie’s action is not quite as front on as the former Aussie quick but there are definitely some similarities.

The unique action is noticeably more front-on than usual and features a quick flick of the arms, with Mennie describing his action as “a little bit unique”.

Head of selectors Rod Marsh said Mennie’s selection was a “just reward for effort.”

“He’s a dead-set professional length bowler, that’s what I love about him,” Marsh said.

“No one (batting) likes bowlers who bowl a good length.”

Marsh said it was very close between Mennie and Bird for the spot in the squad.

The squad, announced on Friday, includes four pace bowlers — Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Mennie — although only three are likely to play in the opening match of the series in Perth.

The first of three test matches begins at the WACA on Thursday the 3rd of November at 1:30pm AEDT.

Australia are $1.91 favourites to win the first Test with South Africa $3.25 and the draw $4.15.

Australian Test squad:

Josh Hazlewood

Usman Khawaja

Nathan Lyon

Mitchell Marsh

Shaun Marsh

Joe Mennie

Peter Nevill

Peter Siddle

Steve Smith (C)

Mitchell Starc

Adam Voges

David Warner


Sportsbet Market:

First Test:

Australia $1.91

Draw $4.15

South Africa $3.25

Man of the Match:

Mitchell Starc $8.00

David Warner $8.00

Steve Smith $8.00

Shaun Marsh $13.00

Mitchell Marsh $15.00

Josh Hazlewood $18.00

Adam Voges $21.00

Nathan Lyon $21.00

Usman Khawaja $21.00

Peter Siddle $21.00

Peter Nevill $26.00

Faf du Plessis $8.00

Kyle Abbott $21.00

Morne Morkel $18.00

Hashim Amla $10.00

Temba Bavuma $21.00

Stephen Cook $21.00

JP Duminy $18.00

Dean Elgar $21.00

Quinton de Kock $10.00

Keshav Maharaj $21.00

Vernon Philander $18.00

Kagiso Rabada $21.00

Rilee Russouw $21.00

Tabraiz Shamsi $21.00

Dale Steyn $9.50

Dane Vilas $21.00

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