Clark out; Ponting, Hayden in doubt for Gabba ODI

February 2nd, 2008 - 5:07 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Feb.2 (ANI): Australian cricketers Stuart Clark, Ricky Ponting and Mathew Hayden are doubtful starters for the their match against India at the Gabba in Brisbane on Sunday.
According to a Fox Sports report, Clark is attending to family matters in Sydney, prompting Australia’s selectors to call in fast bowling all-rounder Ashley Noffke. The in-form Queenslander could make his one-day international debut in front of his home crowd.West Australian batsman Adam Voges has also remained with the Australian squad after playing in the Twenty20 thrashing of the Indians as a back-up for Ponting and Hayden.
Ponting rated himself a near certainty to return from the back problem which scratched him from the nine-wicket win at the MCG but admitted there were concerns over Hayden’s lingering hamstring problem.
Both are being treated by physiotherapist Alex Kountouris and will undergo fitness tests before making a decision.
If Hayden is ruled out it leaves the home side with a quandary over his opening replacement.
Michael Clarke opened in the last three one-dayers in the 4-2 series win in India in October but made a total of 10 runs.
James Hopes and Brad Haddin both have some top-class domestic form behind them and are strong options.
Quicks Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken are certainties to play and could be joined by Noffke, 30, in a four-prong pace blitz.
With high humidity and cloud cover predicted in Brisbane, the bouncy Gabba will provide swing-friendly conditions for the pacemen that would trouble India’s young side.
Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are the only two Indian batsmen who have played in Brisbane and the bulk of their one-day squad have had virtually no match play since arriving in Australia last week. (ANI)

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