Sport

Michael Clarke deemed fit enough to play in Boxing Day Test

Australian skipper Michael Clarke
Australian skipper Michael Clarke

UPDATE: MICHAEL Clarke will play in the Boxing Day Test.

And the Australian skipper will not have to test his hamstring too much early after Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene won the toss and chose to bat on an MCG strip that looks likely to offer some early assistance to the hosts' pacemen.

Just 11 days after injuring his hamstring in the first Test against Sri Lanka, the Australian skipper has this morning pulled up well from fitness tests on Christmas Day and has been declared fit.

Clarke has maintained, read hoped, he would be fit since hobbling off retired hurt during the first innings in Hobart.

But even the skipper wasn't convinced until waking well today from a searching series of workouts yesterday.

 

Michael Clarke will prove himself in Boxing Day Test

AUSTRALIAN skipper Michael Clarke will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness for today's Boxing Day Test at the MCG against Sri Lanka.

Clarke injured his hamstring against the tourists while batting in the first test at Hobart in the second innings.

Usman Khawaja has been called in to the squad on standby if the skipper does not make it in time.

Coach Mickey Arthur, who will delay naming the final team until the toss of the coin this morning, rated Clark 50-50 at a press conference on Monday, but the man himself was not ruling himself out.

"It's going okay and improving every day, that's for sure," Clarke said.

"I have got a little time up my sleeve.

"My mindset hasn't changed and I am really confident that I am doing everything I can to give myself the best chance I can of playing."

Clarke said the decision on whether he played in the Test or not wasn't just about this game.

"The decision whether I play or not isn't that simple," he said.

"It's also making sure I am fit for the Sydney Test, the one-dayers and then the tour of India.

"We have a lot of cricket coming up, so I have got to understand and take the emotion out of it a little bit and listen to the experts.

"But at this stage we are pretty happy with the improvement I have made."

Fast bowler Jackson Bird is set to make his debut for Australia after Mitchell Starc was rested as part of the controversial rotation policy.

Bird will join Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon in the Aussie attack.

Topics:  australia, boxing day test, cricket, michael clarke



The pacemaker cells of your gut

Restroom sign

Living Naturally: problems with the gut

Dunn eyes Millions for Group level push

TRAINING MASTERS: Matt and Keira Dunn at a Murwillumbah Racecourse race day.

Trainer eyes a cast of millions.

Pennant season out of sync?

SWING DOCTOR: Norman Carmichael, pictured with Julie Keegan, has sadly passed away.

Greg Kelly: On the mat.

Latest deals and offers

Tom Hiddleston's Instagram account hacked

Actor Tom Hiddleston

Thor star the latest celebrity targetted by hackers

Charlize Theron's son dresses up as Frozen character

Actor Charlize Theron

Star's son spotted dressed a beloved Frozen character

BOOKS: Food for thought in Caroline Beecham's latest novel

Maggie's Kitchen by Caroline Beecham is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99.

New novel reminds readers that bravery exists in many forms

TELEVISION: New show is a Survivor, for now

Jonathan LaPaglia hosts the TV series Australian Survivor.

WHAT happens when a new show with a big budget flops?

Rachel Weisz understands celebrity gossip fascination

Actor Rachel Weisz

Weisz says mystery is good for an actor

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.

Take a sneak peek at this $19m Whitsunday mansion

Mandalay House features a private helipad.

Mandalay is currently on the market with an asking price of $19m