Cricket - Aussies play four pacemen

Australia will unleash a four-pronged pace attack on vulnerable Sri Lanka as they look to secure a series clean sweep at the SCG Test starting on Thursday.

PA Sport
Cricket - Aussies play four pacemen

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Australia's Mitchell Johnson

Mitchell Starc, who was rested for the Boxing Day Test, returns to the XI and will form an ominous pace quartet alongside Jackson Bird, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson.

Young all-rounder Glenn Maxwell, who was brought into the squad for the injured Shane Watson, misses out on a Test debut after being named 12th man.

Skipper Michael Clarke, who has again shrugged off any concerns over his hamstring to play, will move up the order to bat at No.4, with the retiring Mike Hussey at five followed by wicket-keeper Matthew Wade and Johnson.

Johnson made a brilliant 92 not out in the Boxing Day Test and with the SCG pitch looking green it made it an easy decision to go with four pacemen.

"There's a fair bit of grass on the wicket," Clarke said when asked why they opted for four quicks.

"The boys bowled really well in the last Test match and bringing Mitchell Starc back into the team obviously helps our bowling attack, especially with the form he's in.

"And Mitchell Johnson is batting as well as an all-rounder now anyway.

"I'm confident we've got enough batting with Matthew Wade at six, Mitchell Johnson at seven and extra bowling which is a real positive for us."

Australia: Michael Clarke (c), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Mike Hussey, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell (12th man).

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