Clarke has full team support, says Johnson

Clarke has full team support, says Johnson

Clarke has full team support, says Johnson

The return of regular Australia captain Michael Clarke for the second World Cup match against Bangladesh has the team's “full support” even if it will be tough to change a winning side, fast bowler Mitchell Johnson said on Tuesday.

On the comeback from hamstring surgery, Clarke is expected to pad up for Saturday’s match in Brisbane, meeting the deadline to prove his fitness or sit out the World Cup entirely.

Clarke's return is likely to mean stand-in skipper George Bailey is tipped from the side after leading them to a 111-run demolition of England in the opener in Melbourne and scoring a useful half-century.

“I love the captaincy that he (Clarke) brings,” Johnson told reporters in Brisbane on Tuesday.

“He has got so much experience and George does as well. But Michael Clarke has been the captain for a number of years now. I know he has the boys' full support.”

Clarke played his first match with the team in two months last week, top-scoring with a 64 in a warm-up match against United Arab Emirates. That prompted pundits to question why he was rested for England.

Clarke's race to be fit has been something of a soap opera in Australia and an unsourced report by Fairfax media last month alleged a rift between the 33-year-old, his players and the country's cricket board.

Lehmann, Clarke and seasoned all-rounder Shane Watson all dismissed the innuendo in recent weeks, while Johnson said the captain's rehabilitation had not distracted the team.“I know that he is ready to go,” Johnson said.

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