Peter Handscomb (left) and Matt Renshaw impressed on their debuts    Getty Images
Peter Handscomb (left) and Matt Renshaw impressed on their debuts Getty Images

Having hit embarrassing lows in the first two Tests and conceding a series defeat to South Africa at home for the third consecutive time, Australia mustered enough courage to bounce back remarkably and register a win at Adelaide Oval. Despite being ruthlessly hammered at WACA and Hobart, Australia showed a lot of courage to make a strong comeback to outplay South Africa in their first-ever day-night Test. Australia thrashed South Africa by 7 wickets with more than a day s play left in the game, which showed how much they had improved after the horror they went through at the start of the series. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Australia vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Adelaide

Irrespective of the win, the Australian cricket team has a long way to go. The series witnessed a lot of changes being made after the Hobart Test. The new interim selection committee, which had Trevor Hohns and Greg Chappell returning in their earlier roles, made as many as six changes to the squad. Several non-performers, including the two debutants in Callum Ferguson and Joe Mennie, were axed and four new faces were added to the national side. While Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson made their Test debuts in Adelaide, Chadd Sayers had to wait for his chance.

The Steven Smith-led side entered the South Africa series having lost three away Tests in Sri Lanka. The pressure was high, but Australia slipped further and lost the series 1-2. Their defeat at Hobart was fifth consecutive loss in Tests, and understandably, there was a lot of commotion in the Australian camp. Let us see how the players fared in the last three Tests:

David Warner (4/10): By his standards, David Warner had an ordinary series against South Africa. Warner is generally one of the heavy run-scorers, both home and away. Despite being in rich form following strong performances in limited-overs series in Sri Lanka and South Africa, the left-hander failed to make a mark. With one half-century in six innings, Warner amassed 236 runs at 39.33. However, while fielding, Warner remained a livewire.

Shaun Marsh (4/10): As usual, Marsh played one Test and was ruled out of the remainder of the series. He suffered a broken finger ahead of the second Test at Hobart. In the first Test at WACA, Marsh scored 78 runs. In the first innings, the southpaw managed 63 runs, but disappointed in the second essay when Australia needed him to provide a strong start.

Joe Burns (1/10): It was being reported that Australian selectors were unfair by not selecting him post the horror in Sri Lanka. But Burns did get his chance in the second Test, wherein he scored only a run in two outings. Against the moving ball, the right-hander’s weakness was exposed. He was discarded post Australia s defeat at Hobart.

Matt Renshaw (5/10): The burly 20-year-old impressed in his first Test. He could have got a few more runs in the first innings, but by staying till the end in the second innings, Renshaw showed a lot of character. However, these are very early stages of judging a young cricketer.

Usman Khawaja (8/10): Australia s No. 3 batsman provided them some runs to save face throughout the series. At Perth, he fought hard in the second innings, scoring 97. In the second Test, after a poor show in the first innings, he showed character once again by scoring 64. But his best effort came at Adelaide, wherein he struck 145 to build platform for Australia s win. Khawaja remains one of the best for Australia going ahead, and he certified it by churning out 314 runs at 52.33, with one century and two fifties.

Steven Smith (7/10): The Australian captain deserves some time off from his duties after the storm that he has been through. He fought hard, but perhaps his best Test innings in last year or so came at Hobart. The 48 not out in conditions that reminded Australia of Trent Bridge 2015 displayed why he remains their best batsman. Smith scored 212 runs at 42.40 with one fifty.

Adam Voges (0.5/10): Maybe, this was the last Test series for a batsman who remained at the top of his game for majority of time ever since he returned to the scene. Voges let his team down with terrible batting, and was deservingly axed after the second Test, managing to score only 30 runs.

Mitchell Marsh (0.5/10): In a make-or-break series, the all-rounder lost the battle. Marsh started with a stunning catch on Day One of Perth Test, but he fizzled out soon. He was dropped for the second Test. In the first, the all-rounder managed mere 26 runs and 2 wickets.

Peter Nevill (2/10): Many still feel that the wicketkeeper-batsman was hard done by. But the fact remains that neither he was making runs nor doing anything special behind the wickets. Nevill s teammates may disagree, but he remained too soft behind the wickets, a norm which was broken by Matthew Wade in the final contest.

Callum Ferguson (1/10): The right-handed batsman had waited for years to make Test debut, and when it finally arrived, Ferguson blew it up. An embarrassing run out when Australia had already collapsed was uncharacteristic and unwanted at Hobart, and in the second innings, he failed to make amends. After 4 runs in 2 innings, he was dropped as well.

Peter Handscomb (5/10): The right-hander scored an impressive fifty on debut, and had the fortune of hitting the winning runs for Australia. Handscomb showed impressive skills in his maiden half-century, hitting six boundaries.

Nic Maddinson (2/10): The left-handed batsman was dismissed for a 12-ball duck in the only innings he batted, and was given a mouthful for no apparent reason by Kagiso Rabada.

Matthew Wade (5/10): Going ahead, Australia would like the motormouth Wade to score some runs in same fervour. He was extremely vocal in the final Test, which is familiar approach by an Australian wicketkeeper. He gets most of his marks only for being entertaining behind the wickets.

Peter Siddle (4/10): The right-arm pacer played only one Test, and questions will get tougher over his future after aggravating the back injury again. Siddle managed 3 wickets in the Perth Test, but Australia missed him dearly in the spot of the third pacer in the remainder of the series.

Mitchell Starc (7/10): The left-arm pacer could not single-handedly revive Australia. He finished with 14 wickets, and on many occasions bowled his heart out for his team. Starc came into the series not being 100 per cent fit, but it did not appear so.

Josh Hazlewood (9/10): The Australian pacer cherished troubling South African batting mainstay Hashim Amla throughout the series. He dismissed Amla as many as 5 times in 3 Tests, which is the most for any bowler against the veteran batsman. Hazlewood finished with 17 wickets the most by any bowler from either sides.

Nathan Lyon (4/10): The greatest Australian off-spinner came very close to being dropped after the second Test, but an injury to Steven O Keefe kept him in the side. Generally, a wicket-taker at home, Lyon had a poor series with only 6 wickets.

Joe Mennie (2/10): He was awarded Australian Test cap only because he had a decent record at Hobart. Mennie showed he had some batting talent by hitting two fine boundaries in Australia s embarrassing total of 85. He was dropped for the final Test after 1 for 85 in 28 overs of the second Test.

Jackson Bird (4/10): The right-arm pacer did get a comeback chance in the third Test, but 3 wickets was something that may not help him cement his position in the side. Bird needs to do a lot more in order to get more games, especially away from home.

(Devarchit Varma is a senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)