Sydney: Australian fast bowler James Pattinson has been ruled out for the remainder of the Test series against India with a foot injury. Mitchell Starc has been included in the squad for the next Test in Perth, starting on January 13, as Australia's selectors opted for an all-pace attack.
Ryan Harris has been retained in the 12-man squad, as has Nathan Lyon, though the offspinner is likely to be omitted for the third Test.
Left-arm seamer Starc, like Pattinson, is also a 21-year-old who is rated immensely, even though he has just four wickets from the two Tests he has played. The 1.96m tall New South Wales bowler is known to generate tremendous pace and bounce.
Pattinson, 21, has been cleared of stress fracture but complained of pain in his left foot on the fourth day of the second Test. He has been a star performer in his four Tests so far, taking 25 wickets at an average of 18.12 while also impressing considerably with the bat.
"James Pattinson has been omitted from the squad due to a foot injury and has been replaced in the XII by Mitchell Starc," national selector John Inverarity said in a statement. "The intention of the National Selection Panel was to rest James from the Perth Test match as this young man has played in four Test matches over a period of just five weeks. This intention has become a necessity after post-match scans have revealed James' foot injury."
Updating on Pattinson, Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris, said: "Pattinson reported some left foot pain after the second innings of the Sydney Test match. Whilst he was able to bowl unrestricted in the game, he did have pain towards the end of the match. As such, he had X-rays and scans after the game that have cleared him of a stress fracture but have demonstrated early stage bone stress injury of the metatarsal bone of the left foot."
"He will be managed carefully over the next few weeks and will not be available for selection for the remainder of the Test series against India."
Pattinson has become the second pacer after Patrick Cummins to injure his foot. Cummins was ruled out of the entire summer after injuring his heel during his Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg.
Lyon, 24, is set to be dropped after managing just four wickets at 90.00 in two Tests.
Australia lead the series 2-0 after victories in Melbourne and Sydney. There are two more matches remaining in the Test series, to be held in Perth and Adelaide respectively.
Australia squad for third Test: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (wicketkeeper), Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, David Warner, Ed Cowan, Shaun Marsh, Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon