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Penpix of Australia's Test squad

AAP logoAAP 30/10/2016

AUSTRALIA'S 12-MAN SQUAD TO FACE SOUTH AFRICA

DAVID WARNER Age: 30 Tests: 54 Playing role: Left-handed batsman Test batting average: 48.63 Remains just as capable of turning a Test in a single session but has become a far more polished person and productive batsman in the past three years. The vice-captain boasts a great record at the WACA and against South Africa.

SHAUN MARSH Age: 33 Tests: 18 Playing role: Left-handed batsman Test batting average: 40.22 Overcame a minor hamstring strain to retain his spot ahead of Joe Burns. Posted a ton in the opening round of the Sheffield Shield season, while he was one of two Australian batsmen to celebrate a century in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

USMAN KHAWAJA Age: 29 Tests: 17 Playing role: Left-handed batsman Test batting average: 44.03 Recalled to bat at first drop and will be desperate to back up his breakthrough summer of 2015/16, when he plundered Test tons in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Wellington. Recently put some noses out of joint with comments regarding his Test dumping in August.

STEVE SMITH Age: 27 Tests: 44 Playing role: Right-handed batsman Test batting average: 58.55 Started his captaincy with an undefeated streak of 11 Tests but that ended unceremoniously earlier this year in Sri Lanka, where Australia also gave up the No.1 Test ranking. Widely recognised as one of the best batsmen in the world.

ADAM VOGES Age: 37 Tests: 18 Playing role: Right-handed batsman Test batting average: 72.75 Failed to register a half-century during Australia's Test tour of Sri Lanka and knows at his age the pressure can rise suddenly and sharply. Generally a calming influence in the middle order and knows the WACA better than any other player in the side.

MITCH MARSH Age: 25 Tests: 18 Playing role: Right-handed allrounder Test batting average: 24.00 Test bowling average: 36.33 Has played every Test for Australia since his promotion during the 2015 Ashes series. Yet to deliver a match-winning innings at the sport's highest level and was publicly put on notice by chairman of selectors Rod Marsh.

PETER NEVILL Age: 31 Tests: 15 Playing role: Wicketkeeper Test batting average: 20.88 A no-nonsense operator who isn't anywhere near as lippy as predecessors, he remains the best technical gloveman in the country. Will be desperate to score more runs, having passed 50 only twice at this level.

MITCHELL STARC Age: 26 Tests: 28 Playing role: Left-arm fast Test bowling average: 27.36 Now one of the first picked in the XI, it is staggering to think he was dropped from the Test team 11 times prior to claiming the mantle of spearhead in 2015. Set to return from a badly cut leg that required 30 stitches.

PETER SIDDLE Age: 31 Tests: 61 Playing role: Right-arm fast-medium Test bowling average: 29.88 Has proven doubters - and selectors - wrong a couple of times since being axed during Australia's Test tour of South Africa in 2014. Spent most of the year recovering from stress fractures in his back.

JOSH HAZLEWOOD Age: 25 Tests: 20 Playing role: Right-arm fast-medium Test bowling average: 26.40 Was sorely missed during Australia's recent 5-0 ODI series loss to South Africa, much like Starc. Offers great control and will ask a lot of questions of the tourists with the new ball.

NATHAN LYON Age: 28 Tests: 57 Playing role: Right-arm offbreak Test bowling average: 32.80 Struggled against Sri Lanka earlier this year, but to be fair to Australia's most prolific Test offspinner he never had many runs to play with. Generally does his best work on pitches with some bounce.

JOE MENNIE Age: 27 Tests: 0 Playing role: Right-arm fast Test bowling average: N/A Made his ODI debut in the recent series against South Africa and will be handed a baggy green in Perth if he wins a selection showdown with Siddle. The leading wicket-taker in the 2015-16 Sheffield Shield season and has a great first-class record at the WACA.

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