CommBank Test Series v India
Johnson ruled out of Sydney Test with injury
Pace spearhead succumbs to hamstring complaint while Watson leaves training session early
Martin Smith Sydney
4 January 2015, 11:22 AM AEST
Mitchell Johnson has been ruled out of the fourth Commonwealth Bank Test against India due to a hamstring injury he picked up during the third Test in Melbourne last week.
Johnson didn't train with his teammates yesterday and Bupa Support Staff physiotherapist Alex Kountouris confirmed this morning that the left-armer has not fully recovered from soreness in his right hamstring.
Kountouris said the 33-year-old was expected to be fit in time for the Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series with India and England, starting on January 16, ahead of the World Cup next month.
"Mitchell had some right hamstring soreness during the Boxing Day Test and we have been closely monitoring his recovery since that match but feel he has not fully recovered," said Kountouris.
Coach Darren Lehmann added: "Mitchell is an important part of our plans for the remainder of our summer and we want him 100 per cent right so won’t be taking any risks with him."
"We believe it is best for Mitchell to take this opportunity to freshen up and get his body fully fit ahead of the tri-series."
Shane Watson left the Australian's training session in Sydney prematurely today with a stomach complaint, but is expected to resume training tomorrow and be available for selection in the Test XI on Tuesday.
Watson completed the fielding drills with his Australia team-mates before padding up and heading to nets. However, he did not bat bat and after chatting with Dr Peter Brukner, Kountouris and Lehmann, left the nets and returned to the team hotel.
Watson did fielding drills before leaving the SCG on Sunday // Getty Images
Johnson's absence for the Sydney Test opens the door for Mitchell Starc to return to the side for his second match of the series.
Starc, Peter Siddle and Ashton Agar are part of an extended squad for this Test and all three hit the nets today as Australia ramp up their preparations.
A greenish tinge on the SCG pitch hurts spinner Agar's case for a recall, while Starc appears to be ahead of Siddle in the pecking order after the left-armer replaced the Victorian in the XI for the second Test at the Gabba.
Starc took 0-83 and 2-27 in that match and has since impressed in the KFC T20 Big Bash League for Sydney Sixers, taking 1-36 against the Thunder and 2-21 against the Renegades.
"I'll always prepare to play, and I feel like the ball’s coming out well from the last two BBL games," Starc said yesterday.