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Michael Clarke back to lead Australia in warm-up match against Somerset

Michael Clarke: Kept out of the Champions Trophy by injury

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Michael Clarke will be in the Australia side to take on Somerset in a four-day warm-up game starting on Wednesday.

The captain's back injury ruled him out of the recent ICC Champions Trophy and he is yet to appear on tour.

But vice-captain Brad Haddin revealed Clarke will be back to lead the side at Taunton in their first game under new coach Darren Lehmann, who replaced Mickey Arthur this week in a shock move barely a fortnight before the first Test.

"Morale's good. Guys are ready to go. I can sit and dwell on what's gone before us as long as you want, but it's not going to be of benefit to anyone. It's time to move forward and play some cricket."

Brad Haddin

Haddin said: "Michael's playing. It's great news - his first game on tour and the Australian captain's pretty excited to play.

"He's in a good spot - he had a bit of a hit in the nets today."

The wicket-keeper named Australia's side to face Somerset, and there was no place for Middlesex opener Chris Rogers.

Asked whether Rogers' omission was significant ahead of the Test series, Haddin said: "We've got another game (against Worcestershire) before then, and we wanted to give this side a hit.

"Chris has been playing a lot of cricket and he's in pretty good touch."

Haddin joked that Lehmann deserved "a tick" for delivering a "short, sharp" session on his first morning and backed the tourists to cope with the change of coach.

He said: "Morale's good. Guys are ready to go. I can sit and dwell on what's gone before us as long as you want, but it's not going to be of benefit to anyone. It's time to move forward and play some cricket."

Australia XI to play Somerset: Clarke (c), Haddin (wkt), Watson, Hughes, Cowan, Khawaja, Faulkner, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon.

Who should open the England batting in the Ashes alongside Alastair Cook?

  • Nick Compton
  • Joe Root
  • Ian Bell
  • Other

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