CANBERRA: Australian fast bowler Michael Neser has been ruled out of the upcoming Pakistan tour due to a side strain injury.
The tour — which will be Australia's first in 24 years — is set to start and end in Rawalpindi with the opening Test to be played from March 4-8 and the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29 to April 5, according to a revised scheduled announced by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Neser had suffered the injury just days ahead of the tour and has been dropped out of the 18-member squad selected to tour Pakistan for the upcoming bilateral series.
Uncapped Queensland fast bowler Mark Steketee has been called into Australia's squad in his place while Brendan Doggett has been added to the team as cover.
Michael Neser was forced out of the field during a one-day game won by New South Wales, at the Gabba on Monday night, Australian media had reported. He could manage bowling only twice when he stepped into the field after a long rain delay.
Neser, who made his Test debut against England in Adelaide in December, has only bowled five times in games in 2022 after spending most of January with the national team.
It is pertinent to mention that the Australian selectors had already decided to rest fellow Test quick Jhye Richardson from the Pakistan tour despite him being a part of the national T20 squad currently playing Sri Lanka.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. On standby: Sean Abbott, Brendan Doggett
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