Harris, Khawaja miss out

Marsh keeps place for Australia's series decider in Sri Lanka

Last Updated: 15/09/11 2:37pm

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Changing places: Khawaja (left) and Marsh

Changing places: Khawaja (left) and Marsh

Sky Bet

Australia have left out Ryan Harris and Usman Khawaja for the final Test against Sri Lanka, starting at Colombo's SSC on Friday.

Paceman Harris has taken 11 wickets in the first two Tests of the series but is being rested due to a hamstring strain.

Peter Siddle comes in for Harris, while the return of former skipper Ricky Ponting means there is no place for Khawaja.

Ponting missed the drawn second Test in Kandy to return home for the birth of his second child and, in his absence, Shaun Marsh marked his debut with a century.

Dropped

"It is hard for Uzzie (Khawaja). It's obviously been a tough selection, but with Shaun making 141 on debut, it was really hard to leave him out."
Michael Clarke Quotes of the week

Marsh's 141 was enough for him to keep his place and Khawaja - who has scored 60 runs in the first two matches - is the man to make way.

"It's brilliant to have Ricky back, he was always going to walk back into the team," said Australia captain Michael Clarke, whose team hold a 1-0 lead and require only a draw to win his first Test series in charge.

"It is hard for Uzzie (Khawaja). It's obviously been a tough selection, but with Shaun making 141 on debut, it was really hard to leave him out."

Clarke said resting Harris was a precautionary measure considering the heavy schedule ahead, which includes Test series against South Africa, New Zealand and India.

"I guess we have to be safe, rather than sorry," he added.

"I certainly don't think it's worth the risk of playing him here, because if that minor strain becomes a big tear he could be out for a lot longer."

Century

Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara will be making his 100th Test appearance in the match and is hoping to finally feature in a win over Australia.

The left-hander has been prolific over the years at the SSC, scoring 1,864 runs at an average of 74.56 including seven centuries.

"The key is to score big in the first innings, which we have not been able to do in the two Tests so far," said Sangakkara, who met the media instead of skipper Tillakaratne Dilshan on Thursday.

"I think we have a good enough team to win on any wicket. It is always challenging to play the Aussies, but we have not challenged them enough in the series.

"I hope that will change here."

Australia: Michael Clarke (capt), Shane Watson, Phillip Hughes, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, Shaun Marsh, Brad Haddin (wkt), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Trent Copeland, Nathan Lyon

Sri Lanka (from): Tillakaratne Dilshan (capt), Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Prasanna Jayawardene (wkt), Angelo Mathews, Suraj Randiv, Suranga Lakmal, Chanaka Welegedara, Lahiru Thirumanne, Rangana Herath, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad, Seekkuge Prasanna

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