Johnson to face Proteas
Series level at 1-1 heading to the SCG
Last Updated: 22/01/09 12:13pm
Johnson: Back in the squad
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson will spearhead the Australia bowling attack during the third one-day international against South Africa in Sydney.
Johnson, who is yet to feature in the current ODI series against the Proteas, has replaced Ryan Harris, who took 1-54 on debut in Australia's five-run win in Hobart on Sunday, in the starting XI.
Seamer Ben Hilfanhaus, despite performing solidly during the previous two ODIs also misses out with either James Hopes or Nathan Hauritz coming in.
Despite overlooking Harris for the crucial clash at the SCG, Australia chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch praised the 29-year-old's contribution in Hobart.
"We have been very impressed with his efforts and attitude during limited opportunities," said Hilditch.
"We are certain he will continue to push for Australian selection in the future."
The five-match series is level at 1-1 and Johnson is expected to form a new-look pace attack with Nathan Bracken and Shaun Tait with Hauritz and Hopes fighting for the remaining place.
Exciting opening batsman David Warner has been retained for the final three games of the campaign, despite only scoring five runs in Sunday's success.
Captain Ricky Ponting said: "Mitchell (Johnson) will obviously come straight back into the side after a couple of weeks off.
"He was jumping out of his skin today to get back into the nets and bowl and bat again so that's a good sign for us.
"Hauritz is in the 12, Hilfenhaus is the one that's missed out, he's 13th man for the game but we haven't announced an XI yet.
"We're just going to wait and see how this weather is tomorrow before we actually finalise an 11."
Meanwhile, JP Duminy believes the hosts are feeling the heat, more so than the South Africans, going into the third ODI with the scores level.
"I'd like to think most of the pressure is on Australia. It's their backyard and there are expectations on them to win," said the Proteas star batsman.
South Africa still have selection issues and may be tempted to replace the out-of-form Herschelle Gibbs at the top of the order.
Neil McKenzie could open with Hashim Amla with Vaughan van Jaarsveld coming into the lower order.
Paceman Morne Morkel is likely to come in for Dale Steyn in South Africa's ongoing bid to rotate players.
Australia squad: Shaun Marsh, David Warner, Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Cameron White, Brad Haddin (wk), James Hopes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Bracken, Ben Hilfenhaus, Shaun Tait.
South Africa squad: Herschelle Gibbs, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Neil McKenzie, Mark Boucher, Albie Morkel, Johan Botha, Morne Morkel, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.