Clarke to lead Australia in Sydney, Haddin vice-captain (Lead)

December 30th, 2010 - 6:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Dec 30 (IANS) Michael Clarke will lead Australia in the absence of injured Ricky Ponting with Brad Haddin as his deputy in the fifth and last Ashes Test against England.

Ponting was Thursday seated out of the Sydney Test due to a broken finger. The 36-year-old has been advised immediate treatment to his fractured finger he aggravated during the Melbourne Test.

Ponting’s place went to Pakistani-origin batsman Usman Khwaja who will become Australia’s first Muslim Test cricketer. Clarke will also captain the side in the Commonwealth Games Bank One-day series and will have Cameron White as his deputy.

Ponting,however, is expected to be fit to lead Australia in the World Cup in the subcontinent, starting Feb 19.

“Given the injury to Ricky Ponting, the National Selection Panel (NSP) made a recommendation to the Cricket Australia Board this afternoon that Michael Clarke assume captaincy of the team for the fifth and final Vodafone Ashes Test match in Sydney and for the Commonwealth Bank One-day series,” Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said.

“This recommendation was unanimously endorsed by directors. Brad Haddin has been appointed as vice-captain for this remaining Test match while Cameron White will deputise for Michael in both the one-day and Twenty20 form of the game. We congratulate Michael on his appointment and wish him well for the next few weeks.”

NSP chairman Andrew Hilditch said he is excited about Khawaja making his Test debut at Sydney.

“Usman Khawaja will make his debut for Australia in this match, something we are excited about given his tremendous form at domestic level over the past two seasons,” Hilditch said.

“The unfortunate injury to Ryan Harris during the fourth Test has provided the opportunity for Doug Bollinger to return to the Australian squad.”

“The final side from the 12-member squad will be decided after we have had the opportunity to assess the wicket and the conditions in the following days at the SCG.”

The Australian squad will travel to Sydney Friday with the first training session planned for Saturday morning. He and new captain Clarke will speak to the media later in the day.

Squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain and wicketkeeper), Doug Bollinger, Michael Beer, Phillip Hughes, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson,
Usman Khawaja, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Shane Watson.

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