Cricket

Clarke to lead Oz at Adelaide

2014-12-08 07:02
Michael Clarke (Getty Images)

Adelaide - Michael Clarke was on Monday passed fit to lead Australia in the emotional opening Test against India in Adelaide, with the late Phillip Hughes symbolically named 13th man.

Clarke had been in doubt for the series opener starting Tuesday with recurring hamstring problems and in the wake of the heart-wrenching death of his close friend Hughes, which plunged the cricket world into mourning.

He was not at the traditional captain's pre-match media conference at the Adelaide Oval, but fast bowler Mitchell Johnson confirmed the skipper would lead Australia in what will be an emotional day.

Hughes never regained consciousness after being struck by a bouncer during a domestic game in Sydney, and died in hospital surrounded by family and friends last month.

"It's a huge boost to have Clarkey back in and playing for us," Johnson told reporters of the Test, which was originally scheduled for Brisbane but was delayed and switched to Adelaide after the Hughes tragedy.

"I think with his captaincy he's shown how strong he's been over the last couple of weeks with the tragedy that we've had. We need him out there in this tough series."

A number of tributes are planned for the Test with the Australian players wearing Hughes' Test cap number 408 on their playing shirts, and black armbands in honour of their former team-mate.

Before play, the Australian and Indian teams will stand before a large 408 painted on the oval's playing surface as they observe a video tribute, narrated by former Australia Test captain and prominent commentator Richie Benaud.

Johnson said the availability of Clarke, who has been widely praised for his leadership during the Hughes crisis, would help the team cope.

"He's a strong leader. He has been an aggressive leader," the fast bowler said.

"He's a huge boost for us in our line-up. I really hope that he can go out there and score a lot of runs for us. We all know that he's really keen to do that. He's a huge part and we're glad that he's back."

Clarke, in particular, took the death of Hughes hard. He struggled for composure in delivering a family statement to the media, while he led the tributes at the funeral and was one of the pallbearers.

Johnson said wearing Hughes's 408 cap number on the team's shirts was a fitting tribute to their fallen team-mate.

"It's really special. His family, I think that would make them very proud," he said.

"I'm very proud to be able to wear that number through this Test. We've named him as the 13th man as well. It's all very special."

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and batsman Shaun Marsh were left out of the starting XI, with Hazlewood to stay in Adelaide and Marsh to return to playing duties with his Western Australian state side.

Australia - Michael Clarke (captain), David Warner, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon. Josh Hazlewood (12th), Phillip Hughes (13th)

Read more on:    michael clarke  |  cricket
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

The Proteas have announced plans to play a four-day Test against Zimbabwe starting on Boxing Day. What do you make of this?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.