Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney January 2, 2010

Pakistan rocked by Aamer blow

Pakistan have suffered a major blow on the eve of the second Test with Mohammad Aamer ruled out with a groin injury.

Mohammad Yousuf had expressed concern over Aamer waking up stiff this morning, and said they would make a decision only after he bowled in the nets. But Aamer had brushed off the concerns, saying it was just stiffness from bowling so many overs and that he would definitely play.

"He has a groin injury and though it doesn't appear serious, we decided not to risk him for the Test," Abdur Raquib, the team manager, told Cricinfo. "He had a bowl and the on-tour selection committee decided to leave him out."

The 17-year old was Pakistan's most incisive bowler for much of the first Test and ended up with his first five-wicket haul in the second innings, including the wickets of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey. The figures included a fiery spell on the third on the third afternoon to Shane Watson, in which Aamer's pace went 150kmph on a few occasions.

Aamer's late withdrawal means Pakistan will now start with Mohammad Asif, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami and Danish Kaneria. Though it is still a strong attack, Pakistan will go into their second Test in a row without what would constitute a first-choice bowling quartet.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo