Australian fast bowler Michael Neser will not be part of the squad that will tour Pakistan next month. The 31-year-old has suffered a side strain and has been replaced by Mark Steketee in the team.
The right-arm pacer suffered the injury while bowling for Queensland in the One-Day domestic competition against New South Wales. Following the injury, Cricket Australia released a short statement which read:
"Steketee replaces Michael Neser who was today ruled out with a side strain. He'll play this week's #SheffieldShield game against Victoria before joining the Australian squad. Brendan Doggett will also join the squad next week as cover #PAKvAUS."
Steketee is one of several products of the Australian fast bowling factory. The team secured the Ashes on the back of a robust pace bowling unit built on rotation.
The 28-year-old has bagged 182 wickets at 25.67 in 51 first-class matches. Australia's tour of Pakistan, which has been 24 years in the making, is Stekette's second call-up to the national team.
He received his maiden call-up to the squad for the tour of South Africa in 2021, but the series was postponed due to health concerns.
Neser had an impressive debut in the Ashes
The Queensland native had earlier made his debut in the second Test of the 2021 Ashes. Playing at the Adelaide Oval, he notched figures of 1-33 and 1-28 across both innings as part of a new-look bowling attack in the absence of Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Apart from the two wickets, Neser also made handy runs down the order. He was, however, dropped for the Boxing Day Test with the team management preferring the local bowler in Scott Boland.
Following a change in venues as per the request from Cricket Australia, the tour will begin with the first Test in Rawalpindi on March 4. The squad for the Test series is expected to depart for the subcontinent later this month.
Australia's updated squad for the tour of Pakistan:
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: Brendan Doggett, Sean Abbott