Melbourne:Australia on Thursday drafted in New South Wales leg-spinner Steven Smith as cover for offie Nathan Hauritz in the lead up to the first Test against Pakistan at the MCG beginning on Boxing Day.
Cricket Australia's National Selection Panel (NSP) said in a statement that Smith was called up because Hauritz looks suspect for the match because of his groin injury.
"With the availability of Nathan possibly not being known until match morning and needing to be sure sufficient coverage is available for the first Test against Pakistan, the NSP has today named Steve Smith as a standby player," NSP Chairman Andrew Hilditch said.
Smith will join the squad tonight and will return to interstate duties should he not be required for the match.
Meanwhile, team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Hauritz's long-standing injury has recently been causing more of a problem for him while bowling.
"While the injury has been manageable he has reported an increase in discomfort after completing today's training session.
"Nathan will train tomorrow morning and a decision will be made on his availability for the Test upon further assessment in the lead up to the match," he said.