Australia's Mennie shock inclusion for first Test against Proteas
Uncapped paceman Joe Mennie has surprisingly been named in Australia's squad for the upcoming first Test against South Africa in Perth.
South Australian Mennie was a shock inclusion in the 12-man team - led by captain Steve Smith - named for the opening two Tests on Friday, edging out Jackson Bird ahead of next week's opener at the WACA, starting November 3.
Mennie was last season's leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield, claiming 51 wickets in 11 matches, while in Australia's one-day internationals against South Africa, his debut ended in 0-82 in Johannesburg before rebounding with 3-49 in the final ODI.
The 27-year-old is now set to vie with veteran Peter Siddle for a spot alongside the returning Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon in Australia's bowling attack.
"Joe bowls a great length at a lively pace and his form in first-class cricket has been terrific in the last 12 months. He also impressed us during the recent Australia A Series in Queensland," said national selector Rod Marsh.
"He was the highest wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield last season and is very handy with the bat."
Shaun Marsh will open the batting with vice-captain David Warner after overcoming a hamstring injury.
Usman Khawaja also returns to the starting XI, having been dropped for the final Test match against Sri Lanka in August as fellow batsman Joe Burns missed out.
"Both Shaun and Joe played very well in the Sheffield Shield round but Shaun is coming off back-to-back hundreds in Test matches and has performed very well in Perth and Hobart so we have opted to go with him," Marsh said.
Australia squad in full: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Joe Mennie, Peter Nevill, Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, Adam Voges.