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Monday, 8 December 2014

Michael Clarke fit for Adelaide Test, Hughes named 13th man


Michael Clarke has been declared fit to play in the first Test against India starting Tuesday. The Australian captain has recovered fully from his hamstring injury and will lead the team at the Adelaide Oval. (Also Read: Virat Kohli became the 32nd to lead india in Test)

Shaun Marsh, who was called up to cover for Clarke, will fly back to Western Australia to participate in the Sheffield Shield Cup match against Victoria. As a gesture of tribute, Phillip Hughes has been named the 13th man of the squad.

Welcoming the availability of Clarke for the all-important first Test, Australian fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson said, "It's a huge boost to have him back in and playing for us and with his captaincy.”

"And it shows how strong he has been over the last couple of weeks with the tragedy we have had. He is a strong leader and has always been an aggressive leader. He just has something about him when he's out there as captain."

Johnson said the team is still overcoming the grief of Hughes’ death and admitted it will be emotionally challenging to focus on cricket with their deceased mate on their minds. "It's going to be an emotional morning. For me going out there bowling, the first spell might be the most difficult.”

However, the pacer also said he will have no qualms in using the bouncer as a weapon against the Indian batsmen if the situation demands so. 

"We have got to play the way we have been playing and that has been aggressive. If that is bowling the short ball like we have been, then that will be what we do. It might be different this time but I don't know how I'm going to feel," he said.

The Australian players will wear No. 408, Hughes’ Test number, on their jerseys for the first Test. Johnson said it will be a matter of pride for them to do so.

"It's really special, to make his family and Phil very proud. I'm certainly proud to be able to wear that number.”

Australian team for the first two Tests: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon. Josh Hazlewood (12th), Phillip Hughes (13th)

source: bcci.tv


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