SYDNEY: All-rounder James Faulkner has been ruled out of Australia´s test cricket series in South Africa and will undergo surgery for a knee injury.
Australia´s contest with the world´s No. 1 test nation might be further disrupted as opening batsman Shaun Marsh and fast bowler Jackson Bird are also under injury clouds.
Both will remain home for injury treatment when the Australia squad leaves for South Africa on Wednesday.
Marsh has a calf strain and Bird a back injury and both will have to prove their fitness before rejoining the 15-man Australia squad.
Faulkner´s place has been taken by all-rounder Moises Henriques who made his first appearance for Australia in India last year.
The 23-year-old Faulkner suffered his injury during the fifth one-day international against England on Sunday in which he was judged man of the match.
He will undergo arthroscopic surgery in Melbourne on Tuesday and hopes to be fit to play in Australia´s Twenty20 series in South Africa and to continue to the World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh in March.
National selector John Inverarity said Henriques deserved another chance in the test squad. “Moises Henriques has shown some good form recently with both bat and ball and he provides a good fit when looking to replace James,” he said.
South Australian Kane Richardson will replace Faulkner in Australia´s squad for the Twenty20 internationals against England, beginning in Hobart on Wednesday.
Australia made history by playing an unchanged team in all five Ashes tests against England this summer, winning that series 5-0.
Faulkner´s injury forces the first change to that winning combination.
Australia test squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Moises Henriques, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson. (AP)