Australia’s spearhead Mitchell Johnson has been rested for the remaining three ODIs against South Africa to keep him fresh for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and the World Cup 2015. Xavier Doherty has also been preferred over Nathan Lyon after an impressive showing in the ODIs at UAE against Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Australian coach Darren Lehmann confirmed that Michael Clarke has been ruled out of the South African ODIs but was reluctant to say whether he was out of contention of the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Gabba. 

Lehmann quoted:

Basically what we’re going to do is see how he goes in the next couple of days,” Lehmann said. “He’s back in Sydney, he’ll see some specialists and speak to Alex our physio and work out the plan from there. Till I get confirmation I’m not going to say he’s in or he’s out. At the moment he’s captain of Australia and if he’s fit to play and gets through the next little bit, hopefully he’ll front up in the first Test. Only time will tell.

“I just want to know if he’s in or out. For us it’s making sure he’s back playing as quick as he can and fully fit. If he’s fit he’ll play, he’s captain. We’ve got a couple of days. So lets see what happens in a couple of days.

“As for Johnson, we had him in Zimbabwe, UAE, obviously these two here, it’s just to freshen him up and make sure he’s right to go for the summer.”

National selector Rod Marsh was very impressed with Pat Cummins and Micthell Starc’s form and expressed that both of them deserved a place in the squad. 

Pat Cummins impressed in his return to Australian duty in the recent T20 Series and Mitch Starc has been in good form since his return from the UAE,” Marsh said.

Australia’s squad:

George Bailey (capt), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), David Warner, Shane Watson

Probable Playing XI For 3rd ODI at Canberra:

David Warner, Aaron Finch, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, James Faulkner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins 

Image Courtesy: abc