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Australia take to field for the first since ball-tampering scandal

  • The fourth Test between Australia and South Africa began on Friday morning
  • The tourists named a much-changed side after the ball-tampering scandal
  • Tim Paine leads in absence of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft 
  • ‘It’s going to be a challenging week for the guys,’ the new captain admitted 

Australia began the long road to redemption on Friday as they took to the field for the first time since they were engulfed in a ball-tampering scandal.

Darren Lehmann’s side began the fourth Test against South Africa at The Wanderers in Johannesburg, just days after their team imploded in the wake of defeat in Cape Town.

Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner have both been banned for a year after Cameron Bancroft — who is suspended for nine months — was caught using sandpaper to alter the ball’s condition.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann gathers his new-look side ahead of his final Test in charge

Nathan Lyon, one of the few senior players left in the side, stretches before facing South Africa

Nathan Lyon, one of the few senior players left in the side, stretches before facing South Africa

Lehmann, here dishing out instructions, will stand down following the ball-tampering scandal

Lehmann, here dishing out instructions, will stand down following the ball-tampering scandal

Lehmann breaks down in tears as he resigns as Australia head coach on Thursday

Lehmann breaks down in tears as he resigns as Australia head coach on Thursday

Lehmann announced on Thursday he would stand down at the end of the series, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing.

But less than 24 hours after his emotional press conference, the Australia coach led a new-look side into the fourth Test. And ahead of the day’s play, the coach was seen corralling his players ahead of his final match in charge.

Wicketkeeper Tim Paine has taken over the captaincy from Smith, who has been replaced in the line-up by Peter Handscomb. 

Bancroft and Warner, meanwhile, were replaced at the top of the order by Matthew Renshaw and Joe Burns.

Chadd Sayers replaced the injured Mitchell Starc and made his debut at The Wanderers

Chadd Sayers replaced the injured Mitchell Starc and made his debut at The Wanderers

Australia began life without Steve Smith, David Warner and Co with the fourth Test

Australia began life without Steve Smith, David Warner and Co with the fourth Test

Lehmann gave an emotional press conference on Thursday to announce his departure

Lehmann gave an emotional press conference on Thursday to announce his departure

Disgraced former Australia captain Smith broke down in tears as he spoke to the media

Disgraced former Australia captain Smith broke down in tears as he spoke to the media

Chadd Sayers, meanwhile, makes his Test debut in place of the injured Mitchell Starc. The seamer opened the bowling for Australia after South Africa won the toss and opted to bat.

‘It’s going to be a challenging week for the guys but we spoke about looking after each other and keeping each other up for the contest,’ Paine told Sky Sports before the first ball was bowled.

‘We’re very privileged to be playing a Test match for Australia, it means a lot to our group and we’ll perform accordingly.’ 

 

 

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