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Australia skipper Michael Clarke shrugs off fitness fears

Hobart: Australia captain Michael Clarke shrugged off fears over his fitness yesterday, claiming he was more concerned about time in the middle as the World Cup heads towards the knock-out rounds.

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke

Clarke only had a gentle practice session at the Bellerive Oval yesterday as his teammates sprinted, prompting suggestions that he was still struggling with his long-standing hamstring injury.

“I certainly am fit,” Clarke insisted on the eve of Australia's concluding Pool A match against Scotland. “It was more just part of my recovery. Since coming back from my hamstring surgery we've looked at my schedule going forward and Thursday was another opportunity to make sure I recover as well as I can, not only for this game but for the quarter-final.”

With Australia already assured of a place in the quarter-finals, Clarke said he may opt to juggle the batting order to allow more players time in the middle on Saturday. “I think the order will be a little bit different to try and give guys a hit ahead of our quarter-final,” Clarke said.

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