Hobart: The Australian selectors have dropped Mitchell Johnson in favor of fellow fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus in the Australia team named on Thursday for the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Siddle and Hilfenhaus return after being rested from the third Test against South Africa in Perth, while Mitchell Starc was named as the third-prong in the Australian pace attack for the match starting Friday at Hobart's Bellerive Oval.
Offspinner Nathan Lyon completes the bowling lineup, with Johnson named 12th man. Phil Hughes returns from a year in exile to replace the retired Ricky Ponting at No.3 in the batting order, while Shane Watson shifts to No. 4 in the reshuffle. Johnson claimed six wickets at Perth in an impressive return to the Test side after a year's absence.
"Mitchell bowled very well in Perth and he is unlucky to miss out," Australia captain Michael Clarke said. "Sidds and Hilf come back into the team as two guys who have performed very well for us over the last 12 months, both being fully fit. All four guys have performed really well. It certainly wasn't a simple decision."
Australia: Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (captain), Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson (12th man)