Khawaja and Bird fly to Australia's aid
Australia have named Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird in their squad for the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka at the MCG.
Michael Clarke has been included in the party, but the captain is a doubt for the match after injuring his hamstring while batting yesterday in the first Test at Hobart.
Khawaja, who played six Tests for Australia before being dropped after the series versus New Zealand last year, has come into the squad as a potential batting replacement for Clarke.
With Ben Hilfenhaus also ruled out due to a side injury, the national selection panel has turned to Mitchell Johnson and Bird as possible replacements.
Johnson was 12th man for the first-Test victory over Sri Lanka and was considered unlucky not to be in the team after impressing during the third Test with South Africa in Perth.
However, the paceman has struggled to take wickets at the MCG, having claimed only 13 scalps at the venue in four Tests.
Tasmanian strike bowler Bird, on the other hand, is regarded as something of an MCG specialist, having returned 11-95 in a Sheffield Shield match last season.
Those figures came as Bird took 53 Sheffield Shield wickets at an average of 16 in his debut year, before claiming 27 scalps at 20.55 this season to again sit top of the shield wicket list.
Australia squad: Michael Clarke (capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Phil Hughes, Shane Watson, Mike Hussey, Usman Khawaja, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Nathan Lyon.