Clarke fit for first one-dayer against South Africa

January 15th, 2009 - 4:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 15 (IANS) Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke, who has been nursing an injury on his right thumb, has been declared fit to play against South Africa in Friday’s first one-day international match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).Clarke passed a fitness test at training Thursday, which included a couple of net sessions, after missing the two Twenty20 matches.

“He’ll be fine to play,” captain Ricky Ponting was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

“He completed all his training well today, he’s still got a fair bit of discomfort in his thumb but he’s had that since the first Test match (in December) and got through pretty well. So it’s a good sign for us that he’s fit for selection.”

Clarke’s inclusion means rookie David Warner has been released from the Australian squad, and that he can play for New South Wales (NSW) against Victoria in Saturday night’s Twenty20 match in Sydney.

Australia are yet to finalise their XI and will decide Friday whether to include specialist spinner Nathan Hauritz or play an all-rounder.

Wicket-keeper Brad Haddin will also return after a rest, and Queensland all-rounder Ryan Harris is the only member of the squad ruled out at this point.

Australia (from): Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Shaun Marsh, Shaun Tait, Cameron White.

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