Playing the waiting game over Michael Clarke

AUSTRALIAN captain Michael Clarke's fitness will be assessed today before national selectors decide whether it is worth risking him in Saturday's World Cup opener against England.

The 33-year-old, who had hamstring surgery in December, gave a strong indication he was ready to play a major role in the tournament by making 64 in a warm-up match against the UAE at the MCG.

Captaining Australia for the first time since the first Test against India almost two months ago, Clarke spent 92 minutes in the middle as the hosts posted a total of 8 for 304.

Coach Darren Lehmann was non-committal when asked whether Clarke had done enough to play on Saturday.

"We'll sum it up tomorrow, see how he pulls up more than anything," Lehmann said.

"He's been batting really well for the last couple of weeks, so no dramas there.

"He's been really confident."

Clarke opened the innings with Aaron Finch in the absence of the rested David Warner.

Finch made 61 and Steve Smith 59, the three highest-scorers all dismissed by off-spinner Nasir Aziz.

Under-pressure batsman George Bailey made a run-a-ball 46 and will almost certainly be the player to miss out when Clarke returns to the line-up.


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