Peter Siddle was dropped from Australia’s Test side for the first time in two and a half years, with Darren Lehmann wanting the Victorian to bowl faster.
National selectors added James Pattinson to Australia’s pace battery for the series decider against South Africa in Cape Town, Lehmann admitting it was purely a matter of pace.
It is the first time since the tour of Sri Lanka in August, 2011 that Siddle has been left out of the Test side on form instead of fitness.
Australia coach Lehmann said the 29-year-old, who made his Test debut in 2008, still had a future in the team if he became a quicker bowler.
“It’s unlucky for Sidds because he’s done a great job for us over the last few Tests but we’ve gone for the extra pace,” Lehmann said of the first change to his pace attack since the start of the 2013-14 Ashes.
“He’d like some more wickets obviously but it’s the pace drop. We need him bowling 140km/h and at the moment he’s averaging 131, 132.
“He knows that, we’ve spoken to him and I’m sure he will be back bigger and stronger.”
Lehmann said Shaun Marsh was “very unlucky” to be dumped after one poor game, which followed a fantastic century in the opening Test that helped pilot Australia to victory in Centurion.
“It’s always tough. We had to make a choice and that’s the difficult job as selectors,” Lehmann said.
“We love to have (Shane Watson in as an allrounder so there are) five bowlers.
“At the start of the tour we were probably going to shape up as we have today.”