Clarke fit for second Ashes Test

  • Last Updated: December 4 2013, 23:24 GMT

Michael Clarke will be fit to lead Australia in the second Ashes Test.

Clarke fit for second Ashes Test

Clarke was able to bat in the nets as scheduled on Wednesday morning, and shortly afterwards provided press-conference confirmation of what everyone in attendance already knew - that he has recovered sufficiently from a sore ankle to face England at the Adelaide Oval.

The Australia captain, who also announced the hosts will be sticking with the same XI which beat England so comprehensively in Brisbane, said: "The ankle feels fine.

"I think not training yesterday gave me an extra day to make sure I was 100 per cent today, so I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

George Bailey will therefore stay at number six with James Faulkner 12th man again.

Clarke was also up to his old trick of predicting the England side and said he does not expect the tourists to pick a second spinner in the form of Monty Panesar.

"I don't think they will play Monty Panesar, but I wouldn't be surprised (if they did) on that wicket," he said.

"I think spin is going to play a big part; we've got a lot of right-handers in our order.

"But I think they'll go 'safety'. I think they'll go Bresnan, and Ballance ... so yes, I do have a team for you.

"Joe Root three, Ballance six, Bresnan at eight or nine or something like that.''

Clarke is encouraged by Australia's resounding first-Test victory, but warns that is just one step in the right direction.

"We have started well in Brisbane. But it's just a start - we have got a lot of work to do,'' he said.

"I'm obviously excited by the way we played. But if you look at our results over the past 12 months, we have no reason to brag or gloat or be over the top.''

Clarke, himself fined almost £2,000 by the International Cricket Council for his part in the Gabba 'sledge-fest', made it clear Australia will continue to engage verbally with England but will be careful to ensure they do not go too far.

"We will continue to play a tough brand of cricket - but as we have all said, we know there is a line that you can't cross.

"So tough on the field, yes. But also the respect, as I said after the first Test match, hasn't changed one bit.

"We still have the ultimate respect for our opposition.

"They're a very tough team, and I think you will see the England team come out bigger and stronger after losing in Brisbane - and make it a really tough challenge for us here in Adelaide.''

The match gets under way at 0001 GMT on Thursday.

Teams:

England (from): AN Cook (Captain), MA Carberry, JE Root, KP Pietersen, IR Bell, GS Ballance, MJ Prior (wkt), TT Bresnan, SCJ Broad, GP Swann, JM Anderson, MS Panesar

Australia (from): MJ Clarke (Captain), CJL Rogers, DA Warner, SR Watson, SPD Smith, GJ Bailey, BJ Haddin (wkt), MG Johnson, PM Siddle, RJ Harris, NM Lyon, JP Faulkner

Umpires: M Erasmus (SA) and K Dharmasena (SA)

Third umpire: T Hill (NZ)

Match referee: J Crowe (NZ)


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