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Australia Leaves Out Johnson for Series Opener Against Sri Lanka

Australia left out Mitchell Johnson and recalled fellow fast bowlers Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus for the series-opening cricket Test against Sri Lanka starting tomorrow in Hobart.

Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon were the other specialist bowlers named for the first of three matches against the Sri Lankans, who failed to win any of their previous 10 Tests in Australia.

“It was a tough selection to leave Mitchell Johnson out, but it’s a nice problem to have when you’ve got 12 blokes who really want to play and have performed well,” Australia captain Michael Clarke said in a televised news conference.

Shane Watson will bat at No. 4 following the retirement of Ricky Ponting after last week’s Test series defeat to South Africa, with the recalled Phil Hughes taking the No. 3 spot in the order.

Australia hosts Sri Lanka in two further matches in Melbourne and Sydney.

AUSTRALIA: David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson (vice-captain), Michael Clarke (captain), Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Ben Hilfenhaus, Nathan Lyon.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

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