Clarke misses practice but 'will play'

Australia

Cricket Australia have insisted captain Michael Clarke will be named in the XI for the first Ashes Test, which will start at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, despite concerns over an ankle injury.

Cricket Australia have insisted captain Michael Clarke will be named in the XI for the first Ashes Test, which will start at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday, despite concerns over an ankle injury.

Clarke did not participate in Tuesday's training after hurting his right ankle during Monday's fielding practice, later undergoing treatment before returning to bat in the nets.

A CA spokesman said that Clarke's ankle was a "bit stiff" and confirmed: "He will train on Wednesday and will play the game."

Australia all-rounder Shane Watson confirmed that the skipper would be fine to play in the match, saying after training: "Obviously Michael batted beautifully in the first Test as well, so his preparation was always going to be very good anyway.

"I know the medical staff and Michael are very confident. It was just giving him a break today and he'll be training flat-out tomorrow, ready to go for Thursday."

Clarke scored 113 in the second innings of Australia's win in the first Test at the Gabba, The second Test begins in Adelaide on Thursday.

The hosts lead the five-match series on the back of a 381-run triumph inside four days at the Gabba in Brisbane, where Clarke and the left-handed David Warner enjoyed outstanding centuries and fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was named Man of the Match on the back of superb figures of nine for 103.

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