Clarke to lead Australia in fifth Ashes Test

Thursday, December 30, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian batsman Michael Clarke will lead the team in the fifth and final Test of the Ashes series against England after Ricky Ponting was ruled out with a fractured finger.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been named as the vice-captain for the match to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 2.

Ponting has been ruled out after x-rays on his broken finger showed that the fracture had moved during this week’s fourth Test loss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“With Ricky being unavailable for this match we are sure that both Michael and Brad will lead this Australian side with great professionalism and the full support of the team as we strive for a victory in Sydney,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch, as saying in a statement.

“We look forward to Ricky completing his recovery and leading this team to a fourth successive ICC Cricket World Cup on the sub-continent at the completion of the Australian summer,” he added.

Fast bowler Doug Bollinger and New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja have been included in the 12-man squad for the Test announced today.

Bollinger was summoned as the replacement for injured fast bowler Ryan Harris, while Khawaja will replace Ponting. ilditch said that Khawaja’s debut was “something we are excited about given his tremendous form at domestic level over the past two seasons”.

Australia currently trails the five-match series 2-1.

Australia’s squad for the Sydney Test: Michael Clarke (captain), Shane Watson, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Mike Hussey, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger and Michael Beer (12th man to be named) (ANI)

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