Veteran fast bowler Peter Siddle will return to the Australian Test team and lend impetus to the Australian pace attack as the 'Baggy Greens' take on the South Africans in the first Test at Perth starting on Thursday.
Captain Steve Smith confirmed today his XI for the home season opener at the WACA in Perth, with Siddle preferred to the uncapped Joe Mennie.
Australia went down 3-0 in Sri Lanka in July-August to forfeit their top Test ranking, and then suffered a 5-0 thrashing in a one-day series in South Africa.
Siddle, who has been recovering from a back injurysustained in New Zealand nearly nine months ago, will be thethird seamer, replacing left-arm spinner Jon Holland.
Batsman Usman Khawaja, dropped after a loss of form in SriLanka, replaces all-rounder Moises Henriques from the teamthat sank in the final Test in Sri Lanka.
Smith praised the 31-year-old Siddle's 61-Test experienceafter Australia opted against gambling on Mennie, a surpriseinclusion in the squad.
"They're the kind of bowlers that can really tie up an end who can hit consistent areas and build good pressureand keep runs down," Smith told Cricket Australia's website.
"We've gone with Sidds for this Test and it's good to havehim back as well after a fair injury lay-off."
Siddle joins the pace attack spearheaded by MitchellStarc, also recovering from a badly gashed leg, and JoshHazlewood.
South Africa were not due to announce their team untilearly on Thursday.
Australia Test Squad (First Test): Steve Smith (capt), David Warner, Shaun Marsh,Usman Khawaja, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill,Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, JoeMennie (12th man).