Aussie pacers Cummins, Starc get chance as Johnson rests for remaining ODIs
Sydney: Strike bowler Mitchell Johnson will be rested for the remainder of Australia's one-day series against South Africa, with quicks Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc on Monday getting call-ups.
Johnson, named the ICC's Cricketer of the Year last week for a second time, will miss Wednesday's third ODI with the Proteas in Canberra, as well as the final two games in Melbourne and Sydney.
Mitchell Johnson. Pic/ Getty Images
Selectors said they had rested Johnson from the remainder of the ODIs to keep him fresh for the opening Test against India in Brisbane, starting on December 4.
"We have decided to add two extra pace options to the squad with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins," chief selector Rod Marsh said.
"That also gives us the opportunity to ensure Mitchell Johnson is fresh and well prepared ahead of the first Test against India." Cummins has not played an ODI since June 2012, but made a successful return in Australia's recent Twenty20 series win over South Africa, while left-armer Starc has overcome a groin injury.
"Cummins impressed in his return to Australian duty in the recent T20 Series and Starc has been in good form since his return from the UAE," Marsh added. Spinner Xavier Doherty has also been added to the squad, while all-rounder James Faulkner will be available for the final two one-dayers after finishing his Sheffield Shield duties with Tasmania.
Skipper Michael Clarke has previously been ruled out of the remaining ODIs with a hamstring injury as he fights for fitness ahead of the India Test series. "We have chosen not to replace Michael Clarke in the squad with another batsman," Marsh said. "After considering the situation, we believe we have enough batting depth for the next three matches of this series without calling in another player."
Matthew Wade will continue behind the stumps as regular wicketkeeper Brad Haddin recovers from a shoulder injury. The South Africans are second on the ODI rankings table with Australia sitting in third position. Australia will displace the Proteas if they win the current series.
Australia: George Bailey (capt), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.