Perth: Australia have rested weary fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus for the third cricket Test against Australia which starts at the WACA ground on Friday. The Australian selectors have included a four-pronged pace attack of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and John Hastings in their 12-man squad for the match, in the additional absence of paceman James Pattinson, who has a side strain.
Allrounder Shane Watson is likely to rejoin the lineup after overcoming a calf strain and announcing he is able to bowl. Johnson may vie with spinner Nathan Lyon for the last place in the Australian starting XI. If he plays, it will be his first Test since he suffered a toe injury against South Africa last November. Hastings and Hazlewood will make their Test debuts if they win selection for the match on the typically pace-friendly WACA pitch.
Siddle and Hilfenhaus are being rested after their strenuous bowling duties on the last two days of the drawn second Test at Adelaide. Whatever its outcome, the Perth match will be remembered as the last of 168 Tests for former Australia captain Ricky Ponting. Ponting announced on Thursday that the Test will be his last before retirement.
Australia: 1.Michael Clarke (captain), 2.David Warner, 3.Ed Cowan, 4.Shane Watson, 5.Ricky Ponting, 6.Mike Hussey, 7.Matthew Wade, 8.Mitchell Johnson, 9.Mitchell Starc, 10.Nathan Lyon, 11.Josh Hazlewood.
South Africa: 1.Graeme Smith (captain), 2.Hashim Amla, 3.AB De Villiers, 4.Jacques Kallis, 5.Faf Du Plessis, 6.Alviro Petersen, 7.Jacques Rudolph, 8.Dale Steyn, 9.Morne Morkel, 10.Rory Kleinveldt, 11.Robin Peterson.