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Skipper Smith got team he wanted: Waugh

AAP logoAAP 22/11/2016 Darren Walton

National selector Mark Waugh says Steve Smith ought be excited about the overhaul of his under-performing team, revealing the embattled captain had "a big input" into Australia's new-look squad for the third Test against South Africa.

Former selector and Test great Allan Border, the last skipper some 30 years ago asked to deal with such upheaval, believes being handed a squad with six newcomers is "difficult".

"Everyone's a little bit looking over your shoulder, (wondering) when the selector's axe is going to fall, particularly if you're not performing," Border said on Fox Sports' Inside Cricket.

"A whole new group of young blokes; it'll be fresh but it's tough on the captain, no doubt, when you're trying to build a bit of team spirit and you're getting new players all the time."

Waugh, though, said the fresh faces Smith is getting to help try to stave off an unprecedented three-Test home series whitewash in Adelaide were the players he wanted following Australia's humiliating start to the summer.

"He should be excited. I mean, I sat with him for an hour and a half last weekend talking about the team, so he had a big input into that team," Waugh said.

"So he should be fresh and ready to go with some new faces.

"And I think the good thing is with these fresh guys, they're not carrying any mental baggage of the previous five Test matches or the previous couple of Test matches (against South Africa) where we've been hammered, particularly with the bat."

While dubbing Australia's biggest selection shake-up in more than a century of Test cricket a "line in the sand" moment, Waugh is offering the six newcomers no guarantees, refusing to run with a 'pick and stick' policy.

"There's no contract, is there, with how much time you give players," Waugh said.

"Circumstances play a big part and (with) individual players, it depends how they look. How many runs do they get? Do they look like they're not suited to the step up in class?

"But I'm not going to put a figure on it. We just want to see some success and we want to see some runs. We want to see us in the game and playing well.

"But young guys, they're obviously going to get more of a chance than older guys. We'll see what happens."

Border and Waugh are particularly keen to see what English-born bolter Matt Renshaw can deliver after comparing the 20-year-old to one of Australia's all-time great openers.

"He's a tall lad in the mould of Matty Hayden so he's quite imposing at the crease," Border said.

"He's a different type of player, though. He's more of a watchful type, maybe what I'd call an old-fashioned type of batsman in that he'll at times let the ball go and build an innings slowly but surely.

"But then (he) can play shots as he gets into his innings ... He's got runs on the board and huge potential."

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