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Clarke set to return

Harare: Australia captain Michael Clarke will return to action for Sunday’s triangular series match against hosts Zimbabwe after recovering from a hamstring strain, Cricket Australia (CA) said.

Clarke will bat at No. 3 as Steve Smith sits out with Phil Hughes retained as opener. Clarke admitted Smith would feel hurt by his omission.

“He (Smith) hasn’t had much of an opportunity in this series batting at six and seven, but he was picked in the (tournament’s) first squad as well. So he’ll obviously be very disappointed,” Clarke said.

“But I got back in the team and someone had to go.”

Mitchell Marsh will drop down the batting order to six but will probably get a chance to bowl with the new ball as Mitchell Johnson is being rested. Allrounder Ben Cutting, who played the last of his three ODIs more than 18 months ago, will play his first match of the series at the expense of Kane Richardson.

Nathan Lyon, who missed Wednesday’s sevenwicket defeat by South Africa, was recalled for the match that will take place on spinfriendly conditions at the Harare Sports Club.

Clarke suffered a left hamstring strain during his first training session in Zimbabwe last week and missed the 198run victory over the hosts on Monday and the defeat TO South Africa in the opening encounters of the triangular series.