Sayers, the leading wicket-taker and Player of the Year in last season’s JLT Sheffield Shield, was 12th man for Australia in Tests against England earlier this summer but was overlooked for the initial squad for the four-Test series.

Bird suffered a hamstring injury last weekend playing for Tasmania against Queensland in Brisbane.

The Australian squad departs on Thursday and plays a three-day warm-up game from 22 February.

The first Test begins in Durban on 1 March.