Clarke named vice-captain

All-rounder steps up to fill Gilchrist's boots

Last Updated: 01/04/08 4:34pm

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Clarke: Senior role

Clarke: Senior role

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Michael Clarke has been named as vice-captain for Australia's tour to the West Indies, in a squad which also sees New South Wales trio Beau Casson, Simon Katich and Stuart MacGill all included for the three-match Test series.

Clarke replaces Adam Gilchrist as Ricky Ponting's right-hand man, while leg-spinner MacGill was expected to return to the side after recovering from a wrist injury.

Katich, fresh from a run-filled domestic season, earns a recall to strengthen the tourists' batting options.

Left-arm wrist spinner Casson, 25, will be utilised as the deputy for McGill who is likely to take Brad Hogg's place in the side. Queensland paceman, and new Middlesex signing, Ashley Noffke has also been included in the 15-man Test squad.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said MacGill had regained full fitness, while Casson has proven himself as the next best spinner in the country.

"We have recalled Stuart MacGill after his recovery from injury," Hilditch said.

"Stuart looked very fit during the Pura Cup final and performed to a high level.

Significant impact

"We think he will play an important role during the series and believe a player with 200 Test wickets will have a significant impact.

"We have also taken the opportunity to take a young spinner and by far the best performed of these during the Australian summer has been Beau Casson.

"His efforts with both bat and ball have been very good over the past season and we look forward to watching his development during the course of the tour."

The selectors revealed their delight with Katich's response since he was dropped from the Test team.

"Since he has was omitted from the Australian side there is nothing more we could have asked Simon to do," Hilditch added.

"He has done absolutely everything asked of him and had an outstanding summer for New South Wales.

"We are looking forward to him playing a key role throughout the tour.

Fine performances

"The same can be said for Ashley Noffke. His performance with both bat and ball for Queensland throughout the interstate season has seen him justly rewarded."

Victoria's Cameron White and David Hussey have also been named on the trip to the Caribbean for the five-match one-day series.

"Again we have taken the opportunity in the one-day squad to reward some fine performances in interstate cricket," Hilditch said.

"David Hussey and Cameron White have both performed admirably for Victoria and thoroughly deserve their chances. We believe the addition of these two players will add considerable depth to the squad."

The surprise inclusion for the one-day side is Western Australian batsman Shaun Marsh - son of former Test opener Geoff Marsh.

"Shaun Marsh is a fine young batsman who again has had a terrific year for Western Australia," Hilditch commented.

"We have selected him with a definite eye to the future for Australian one-day cricket."

Nathan Bracken's place in the limited-overs squad is dependent on the left-arm seamer proving his fitness following knee surgery.

Test squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke, (vice-capt), Beau Casson, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Ashley Noffke, Andrew Symonds

One-day squad: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke (vice-capt), Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Andrew Symonds, Cameron White

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