Johnson ruled out of 4th Test against India

Johnson ruled out of 4th Test against India

Johnson ruled out of 4th Test against India

Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson was today ruled out of the fourth and final cricket Test against India after failing to recover from a hamstring strain.

"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," Cricket Australia said in a statement.

Johnson could not train yesterday and team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris confirmed this morning that the left-armer has not fully recovered from soreness in his right hamstring, ruling him out of the match starting January 6 here.

Kountouris said the 33-year-old was expected to be fit in time for the ODI Tri-Series with India and England, starting on January 16, ahead of the World Cup next month.

Australia have already won the ongoing Test series by taking a 2-0 lead with the Melbourne match ending in a draw.

"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.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann said he does not want to risk Johnson's fitness.

"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," he said.

"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."

Meanwhile, all-rounder Shane Watson left a training session early today due to a stomach problem but is expected to resume training tomorrow and be available for selection on Tuesday.

"Watson completed the fielding drills with his Australia team-mates before padding up and heading to nets. However, he did not bat and after chatting with Dr Peter Brukner, Kountouris and Lehmann, left the nets and returned to the team hotel."

Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle are the two options in the squad to replace Johnson.
Starc, who has been in and out of the team for sometime, said he's eager for another chance.

"It depends on the fitness levels of other blokes and how they pulled up from last week," Starc said.

"I'll always prepare to play, and I feel like the ball's coming out well from the last two BBL games, I'll keep doing the same and preparing to go. It comes back to any cricket that I play, to keep taking wickets and preparing the best I can," he added.

Having made his debut in November 2011 against New Zealand, Starc is still working on finding the consistency of skill required to be a threat in Test matches. He has fared better in ODIs and Twenty20 assignments.

"I don't get the red ball in my hands too often these days, but it's still a Kookaburra, so it's still going to swing at the start and hopefully reverse somewhere towards the end. In my game it comes back to my accountability and getting that consistency out of myself," said the 24-year-old left-arm pace bowler.

"It comes back to playing more red ball cricket and stringing a few games together, which comes back to performing in games as well. I think in those four to 10 overs with the white ball I know my game really well," he said.