Australia have made a total of three changes to their line-up for the Gabba Test. Ryan Harris has been ruled out with a slight strain to his quadriceps, whereas Peter Siddle has been dropped following a poor show in the first Test at Adelaide.
Fast-bowler Mitchell Starc makes a return to the side and Josh Hazlewood will make his long-awaited Test debut in Gabba. Shaun Marsh also makes a return to the side at the expense of Michael Clarke, who injured his right hamstring during the first Test and will undergo an operation for that on December 16th.
During the announcement of the team at the press conference, Stand-in captain Steven Smith was quoted in saying:
“Ryan Harris pulled up a little bit stiff and sore from Adelaide,” Smith said. “He’s got a slight quad strain. Darren Lehmann has always said if our bowlers aren’t 100% fit going into the match we won’t be playing them. It’s very unfortunate for Ryan but hopefully he gets his body right soon.
“I think he’ll be okay in a couple of days. It’s just going into a Test match if you’re not 100% fit that’s the way it goes with this team. Hopefully he gets a bit of work done with the physios in the next couple of days and can start running and hopefully he’ll be fine for Melbourne.
“In regards to the inclusion of Mitchell Starc, I think we just wanted to play a bowler with a bit of extra pace and bounce. Mitchell went back and bowled really well for New South Wales in the last couple of Shield games and deserves his spot.
“For Peter Siddle, it’s been very disappointing. He’s been a terrific bowler over a long period of time. and is certainly not out of the loop. He’s still in and around the team and hopefully he’ll get another game soon.
“For Josh, it’s very exciting. I’ve watched Josh very closely over the last couple of years at New South Wales and he impresses me every time. “He’s only getting better and better. This pitch out here is going to suit him perfectly. He’s very skilful for his age, and I’m just looking forward to seeing him zing a few through and bowl with that extra pace and get that extra bit of bounce as well.”
Australia’s playing XI for Gabba Test:
David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson,Steven Smith (capt), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Image Courtesy: gettyimages