Oz skipper Clarke says fringe players must perform against Pakistan

April 22nd, 2009 - 3:32 pm ICT by ANI  

Dubai, Apr.22 (ANI): Australia’s acting captain Michael Clarke has urged fringe team members to use the one-day series against Pakistan as an opportunity to book an Ashes or World Cup berth.

The two sides begin their five-match series - which will be followed by a Twenty20 clash - in Dubai on Wednesday night.

While Australia was yet to settle on a final team on the eve of the match, the squad of 14 contains six players who did not play in their last game, last week’s win over South Africa.

Continuing the constant chopping and changing in recent months, skipper Ricky Ponting is being rested, along with senior batsman Mike Hussey and the nation’s No.1 paceman Mitchell Johnson.

Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, Stuart Clark and Shaun Marsh will all make comebacks from injury during the series, while emerging pacemen Doug Bollinger and Ben Hilfenhaus have been given another chance to establish themselves.

Clarke, who has been handed the leadership for an entire tour for the first time, said the absence of senior players presented a golden opportunity for those seeking to establish or re-establish themselves.

“We’ve been given a fantastic opportunity to perform and put your hand up while guys are out resting or injured. It gives somebody else an opportunity to push for the 2011 World Cup. That’s one thing I’ve tried to make clear to the guys, that as much as we’ll miss the wonderful players who aren’t here, it gives somebody else a chance,” Fox Sports quoted Clarke, as saying.

Clarke is confident the swag of changes will not disrupt the side, despite himself and wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin being the only constants through all forms of the game since the start of the Australian summer.

He said Symonds, Watson, Clark and Marsh had enough experience and talent to quickly settle into the side.

The match will also be the first international in the Dubai Sports City stadium. (ANI)

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