Clarke, Warner sidelined for tour match

15 February 2013 13:31

Michael Clarke and David Warner have been ruled out of Australia's three-day game against India A starting on Saturday.

Clarke is recovering from a hamstring injury, while Warner has been sidelined for two weeks with a fractured thumb.

But the Australia skipper is confident both he and Warner will be fit for the first Test against India in Chennai on February 22.

"It's in the best interests of the team and for us individually that we continue to do our work off the field, rather than play the three-day match," Clarke said.

"We're going to use these three days to make sure we prepare as well as we can to be ready for the first Test."

Australia have named specialist spinners Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty and uncapped youngster Ashton Agar to face India A in Chennai.

Agar travelled to India as cover for the opening two-day match against the Indian Board XI but now looms as a surprise selection for the four-Test series.

"Looking at the conditions here, I think spin bowling is going to play a really big part throughout this first Test match," Clarke said.

"India have four spinners in their squad, and I think a lot of those guys, if not all of them, will play in the Test match in Chennai.

"We're giving our spinners the best chance by playing three of our guys in the practice game."

Clarke said he was pleased after Australia, who made 241 on the opening day, dismissed the Indian Board XI for 230 in Chennai on Wednesday.

"It was a really good start for the Australian team," he said.

"It was nice to see guys that haven't played much red-ball cricket in India play in those conditions.

"We have to use this three-day game to again assess where players are at and have a look at guys in preparation for the Test team."

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