20/11/2016 5:00 PM AEDT | Updated 21/11/2016 4:45 PM AEDT

Five Players Axed In 'Revamp' Of Aussie Cricket Test Team

'I ask that everybody take a breath and give the new team some space.'

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Steve Smith is captain for the third Test against South Africa

They said it wasn't going to be pretty. And, boy, they were right. In one mighty swing of an axe, Australia has dropped five players ahead of the Test match against South Africa in Adelaide, marking a drastic overhaul for national men's cricket.

Four potential debutants emerged from the slicing, Queensland opener Matt Renshaw, SA fast bowler Chadd Sayers, NSW batsman Nic Maddinson and Victoria batsman Peter Handscomb. It will be the first time four uncapped players have debuted in a Test match since 1978.

20-year-old Matt Renshaw will be the second youngest to make a debut on a Test side for more than 30 years. He has played only 12 first-class matches.

I'm not for one minute going to suggest an immediate turn around, patience will be required.Trevor Hohns

Renshaw toppled Joe Burns, who has been dropped alongside Callum Ferguson and fast bowler Joe Mennie. Matthew Wade will replace gloveman Peter Nevill for his first Test since 2013. Middle-order batsman Adam Voges was not considered for selection due to concussion.

The dicing of the squad comes after the Aussie side were smashed by South Africa in Hobart in a shocking second Test. The side was bowled out for just 85 runs -- only two batsmen made it to double figures. It was Australia's fifth-straight Test loss.

David Gray / Reuters
Josh Hazlewood after South Africa's Quinton de Kock hit a boundary during an embarrassing Aussie Test performance in Hobart.

The announcement actualised predictions it would be the biggest shake up in Australian men's cricket since the World Series Cricket split more than 40 years ago.

Steve Smith has been named captain of the Test team and David Warner vice captain. The rest of the full line-up: Jackson Bird, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nic Maddinson, Nathan Lyon, Matt Renshaw, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc and Matthew Wade.

In the fall-out of the embarrassing loss in Hobart, Rod Marsh quit as chairman of the four-man national selector panel after holding the position for over two years.

"The past few days have been very challenging and important for cricket in this country since the surprise resignation of Rod Marsh," said Trevor Hohns, interim chairman of selectors, when announcing the new team.

"I'm not for one minute going to suggest an immediate turn around, patience will be required. But we are obviously hopeful that these players can gel together and ultimately stop the downward losing momentum we are currently experiencing.

"It's no secret that our Test team has not functioned or performed to the level we expect. We accept that a lot of the criticism that has come our way has been warranted, however, I ask that everybody take a deep breath and give this new team a bit of space.

"We need everyone to get behind these blokes, to encourage and help them in what is going to be a very testing time for them."

But it's not all grim news, the national women's team are absolutely killing it. The Southern Stars beat South Africa in Canberra on Sunday and are ranked number one in the world.