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Sussex likely to face top Aussies
Sussex are likely to face Australia’s first choice batting line-up for their three-day tour match at Hove, which starts on Friday.
Australia were bowled out for just 128 in their first innings in the second Test at Lord’s and their batting has looked worryingly fragile during the Ashes so far.
Skipper Michael Clarke has hinted that he is keen to play against Sussex, if his ongoing back injury does not flare up, in an unchanged top six ahead of the third Test at Old Trafford next week.
Clarke said: “It’s a good opportunity for us to play some cricket and score some runs. Hopefully we can work on a few things and build some momentum for Manchester in that game.
“I haven’t got enough runs and I haven’t spent enough time in the middle – it’s as simple as that. The more time I spend in the middle and the more runs I make hopefully I can carry that confidence and momentum into the next Test match.”
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed teenage spinner Ashton Agar will miss the game at Hove due to a hip injury with Nathan Lyon being given an opportunity to impress.
Reserve wicketkeeper Matthew Wade will definitely play while the likes of Jackson Bird and James Faulkner also come into contention. But bad-boy batsman David Warner will not return from Africa, where he is playing for Australia A, until midway through the game.
Bowler James Pattinson was last night ruled out of the remainder of the tour with a stress fracture of the lower back.
There are still a handful of general admission tickets remaining for the first two days of the tour game on Friday and Saturday with tickets available for all parts of the ground for the final day on Sunday.
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