Debutants provided shift in energy - Smith

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Steve Smith believes Australia's trio of debutants provided a shift of energy that proved key to their victory over South Africa in the third Test.

Having been beaten handily in the first two contests of the three-match series, Australia handed debuts to Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson and Matt Renshaw.

And the hosts salvaged some pride with a seven-wicket win in the day-night Test in Adelaide, with victory wrapped up in four days.

Maddinson went for a duck in Australia's first innings and was not needed with the bat in the second as they reached their target of 127 with relative ease.

But Handscomb recorded a half-century in the first innings while Renshaw staked his claim as an opener with a disciplined unbeaten 34 in the second.

Yet it was in the field where Smith felt the triumvirate had the most impact, telling ABC Grandstand: "To be perfectly honest, I felt a shift in energy when all the new guys came in.

"I thought we trained beautifully, our fielding at training probably was the thing that stood out to me. The energy we had there, and the execution of our skills was great. And I thought we took that out into the middle as well.

"I think this game, the energy we had in the field was as good as we've had for a long time. I guess that's no surprise when you see people like Peter Handscomb taking catches like he did at gully [to dismiss Faf du Plessis].

"If you don't have the energy and the presence, those [chances] quite often go down. So it's great to be able to show that kind of character."

Australia now face a three-Test series with Pakistan, which starts at The Gabba on December 15, and Smith is hopeful his new-look side can continue to develop.

"I think it's a start. I think with a team like this, with a lot of new players, you've got to expect some growth over time," he added.

"It doesn't happen overnight. But I'm very pleased with the result this week and the hard work the guys put in, and the fight they showed this week.

"It's nice to get a win on the board. It's obviously been a tough series.

"We've been outplayed in the first two Test matches, but to come out here with a new-look team, an inexperienced team, and show some character and some fight and resilience, I think it was a great turnaround."