After 45-minute batting session,Clarke looks set to make cuthttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/after-45minute-batting-session-clarke-looks-set-to-make-cut/

After 45-minute batting session,Clarke looks set to make cut

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke completed a net session at the Gabba,telling team mates he felt good as he raced to be fit in time for the start of the first Test against England

Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke completed a net session at the Gabba,telling team mates he felt good as he raced to be fit in time for the start of the first Test against England on Thursday.

Clarke has been battling a lower-back injury that kept him out of a first class game for New South Wales last week and forced him to miss the Australian team’s training session on Monday.

The top-order batsman said on his Twitter page on Monday that he felt confident he would be fit in time for the start of the keenly anticipated series,though captain Ricky Ponting had said he needed to practice on Tuesday to be considered for the Test.

Clarke took part in fielding drills and had a net session practicing his batting on Tuesday. Local media said he finished the session with a grin on his face. “He batted for about 45 minutes today. He had a bit of a throw-down in the outside nets,” fast bowler Mitchell Johnson told reporters.

Advertising

Uncapped batsman Usman Khawaja was brought into the squad on Monday as cover for Clarke,who has scored 4,549 runs in 64 Tests since making his debut in 2004.

Leg spinner Steve Smith was released from the squad on Tuesday,ending his hopes of making a third Test appearance after filling in for Nathan Hauritz in the Pakistan series earlier this year.

The 21-year-old all rounder,who hit a 77 in his second Test,was named both in the original 17-strong squad and the slimmed down 13-man version announced on Saturday.

Hauritz,who had been expected to be Australia’s spinner for the first Test,spoke of his disappointment at being dropped from the squad at the weekend in favour of uncapped Xavier Doherty.