Melbourne:Australian selectors have made two changes to the squad for the first Test against South Africa starting in Perth next Wednesday.
Cricket Australia's (CA) National Selection Panel (NSP) on Monday announced a 12-man squad for next week's first 3 Mobile Test match against South Africa in Perth.
Tasmanian off spinner Jason Krejza has been included subject to his recovery from an ankle injury.
NSP Chairman Andrew Hilditch said: "The 12 picked for the first 3 Mobile Test match against South Africa reflects the fact that the NSP thinks the team played well against New Zealand recently. It is quite difficult to bounce back from the series in India, which was a tough tour, and to adapt quickly to Australian conditions. One of the most pleasing parts of the New Zealand series was the good form of Brett Lee, whose bowling improved as the series went on. We expect him to be back to his very best against South Africa.
"Mitchell Johnson had an outstanding tour of India and his progress continued against New Zealand. He s presenting himself as a very exciting, wicket-taking package for Australia. The batting group played very well against New Zealand and we consider that all our batsmen are in good form for the coming series.
"As far as the South Africa series is concerned we expect it to be a very tough series of Test matches. South Africa is an excellent side and we ll have to be at our best against them. In terms of the 12, Jason Krejza comes back in to the squad. He s been picked subject to fitness but all reports suggest he ll be fit and will resume cricket for Tasmania this week. Jason richly deserves to be back in the Test squad following his debut in India. Having said that, Nathan Hauritz bowled well in Adelaide and we were pleased with his performance.
"Shane Watson is back into the 12 and one of the main reasons he wasn t in the 12 for Adelaide was that we wanted to take the opportunity for him to play for Queensland. He had a good Weetbix Sheffield Shield game against South Australia, taking wickets and making runs, and adds great flexibility to the squad for this first Test. Peter Siddle is omitted from the 12 but he continues to impress following his debut in India. We re keen for him to resume State cricket for Victoria and expect Peter to continue to push hard for national selection," Hilditch said.
The 12-man squad is:
Ricky Ponting (C), Michael Clarke (vc), Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Jason Krejza (subject to fitness), Brett Lee, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson.