Lehmann claims Johnson, Clarke likely to play in upcoming Test, ODI series against Pak

Darren LehmannKarachi, Sep 29 : Former Australian cricketer and current national team coach Darren Lehmann claimed on Sunday that fast bowler Mitchell Johnson would play in the upcoming Test and ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Johnson withdrew from the Twenty20 Champions League with a rib injury, but was part of the Australian squad that left for the United Arab Emirates ( UAE) on Sunday.

Lehmann calmed fears that the world's leading pacer was a doubt for the first Test against Pakistan that starts in Dubai on October 22, The Express Tribune reported.

Lehmann said that Johnson would be fine to go, adding that one must expect the fast-bowler to play the one-dayers as well. He said that Australia is lucky that in terms of the preparation, Johnson did a fair bit of bowling before getting injured, so it won't be an issue.

The coach was also upbeat about the chances of captain Michael Clarke recovering from a hamstring injury for the opening Test. He said that he is confident, Clarke is confident and that is about where it is at the moment, adding that the tour game on October 15 would be telling.

Clarke left ahead of the team last week to ensure that he was acclimatised before stretching himself in training.

Even if Clarke and Johnson do play, Australia would field a significantly different XI to the one that edged South Africa in their last Test match in Cape Town in March.

All-rounder Shane Watson and pacers Ryan Harris and James Pattinson are all out with injuries. In their absence, Mitch Marsh and Stephen O'Keefe are well placed to make Test debuts as Lehmann ponders whether to play two spinners on the spin-friendly pitches.

Lehmann said that they always pick according to the conditions, adding that it is an Australian groundsman for the first Test, so it could be a decent wicket. (ANI)

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