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Clarke replaces injured Watson for Ashes Test

The injured all-rounder has been replaced by batsman Michael Clarke in the Australian squad for the first Test against England at the Gabba.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 20:21 IST

Injured all-rounder Shane Watson has been replaced by batsman Michael Clarke in Australia's team for Thursday's first Ashes cricket Test against England at the Gabba.

Watson, who injured a hamstring in a domestic one-dayer last Friday, was not confident he would be fit enough for the rigours of a five-day Test and was omitted.

The all-rounder, seen as a fifth bowler to share Australia's bowling load, was only able to run laps of the Gabba today with team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris.

Both agreed Watson would only be able to have played at 70 percent in the Test and decided it was not worth the risk.

"I've done everything I can over the last three days to give it a shot but unfortunately I was only a few days away," Watson said.

"It's not a good feeling, it's something I've been working towards over the past six months.

"I feel my game has really improved and that I have earned a spot in this Australian cricket team."

Watson said he would now aim at recovering in time for the second Test in Adelaide, which starts December 1.

Clarke, who was named as cover for Watson, will now play in his 22nd Test match and Australia will go into the game with four bowlers, three quicks and Shane Warne's leg-spin.

First Published: Nov 21, 2006 16:34 IST