Injury a scare for Aussie skipper
SKIPPER Michael Clarke is expected to be fit to take on England in the second Test at the Adelaide Oval starting on Thursday despite an injury scare at training yesterday.
Clarke left the ground after rolling his right ankle during a fielding drill. He returned shortly afterwards, limping slightly and repeatedly flexed his ankle as the practice continued.
He then completed a batting session in the nets without obvious discomfort, teammate Steve Smith saying he couldn't see any problems.
"He's okay. He looked like he batted pretty well in the nets," Smith said. "I think he's good to go. He was in there doing all his normal recovery so I think he's okay."
Brisbane Test debutant George Bailey was similarly dismissive of any issues with the captain.
"I didn't even know he had done anything, I saw him batting and he looked good there, so I guess he's fine," Bailey told reporters.
Aussie quick Ryan Harris has also dismissed concerns about his ability to contribute in Adelaide, saying he didn't want to be restricted to short bursts and wanted to play in each of the five Tests against England.
"I'll be all guns blazing here," the big Queenslander said. "I'm not going to miss a Test unless I really have to. I've said that from the start, I'm here to play five.
"I had the turnaround in England and I got through it ok. The wickets here are a little harder, that's probably the only difference.
"If I was only going in to bowl 30, 35 overs I wouldn't play because you can't have that," he said.
"You can't have one bloke going half-hearted because it puts pressure on your two or three other bowlers."
Harris also said he expected England to promote Joe Root back to No.3 to replace Jonathan Trott, although he said he would prefer Ian Bell to come in at first drop.
"I want to get him (Bell) there early," Harris said.
"It obviously gives him more time to get in, but it gives us an earlier time to get in and have a crack and hopefully get him out earlier."
Meanwhile, Bell, writing for cricinfo, said he had let coach Andy Flower know he was prepared to bat at No.3, but would do whatever was best for the team.
"In the end the decision is not up to me. I will be quite happy to stay at No. 5 and do the job I've been doing for the last few years, if the management think that is best," Bell said.
"The last time I did bat at No. 3 regularly was in the 2011 series against India, when my last innings was 235."