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Clarke in squad for 1st Test, gets 2 days to prove his fitness

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Adelaide, Nov 24 (PTI) Australia skipper Michael Clarke has been provisonally named in the 13-man squad announced today for the first Test against India in Brisbane from December 4, subject to his complete recovery from a recurring left hamstring injury.

As per chairman of Cricket Australia selector Rodney Marsh, Clarke will get a couple of days time (till Wedensday) to prove his fitness and then will be playing the second warm-up game against India on November 28-29.

“We would have preferred him (Clarke) to play in the round of Sheffield Shield starting tomorrow but unfortunately his condition did not allow him enough time to be ready for that match. Clarke needs to be running by Wednesday,” Marsh told mediapersons in Sydney today, while announcing the 13-member squad.

“The aim is for him to play in the two-day CA XI match against India at the Adelaide Oval starting this Friday and his selection for the first Test is very much dependent on him pulling up well from that match. It goes without saying that Michael is a world-class batsman and it is important that he is 100 per-cent fit to be able to play in the first Test,” Marsh added.

A stand-by batsman has not yet been named by CA in case Clarke fails to make it in time.

It was seen in the bizarre circumstances in which the grade game between Western Suburbs and Paramatta over this past weekend, wherein both teams allegedly contrived to have the national skipper batting during next weekend.

While that game will be investigated by Cricket New South Wales, the Australian national selectors have taken note of Clarke’s intentions to prove his fitness ahead of the first Test and have named him to play in the second practice game against India at the Adelaide Oval on November 28-29.

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