SPORT

Australia drops Clarke

Hobart: Michael Clarke has been dropped from the Australian cricket team for the third and final Test against the West Indies, starting in Adelaide on Friday.

Clarke's demotion follows a run of low scores during the Ashes series against England, the Super Test against the World XI and the two Tests against the West Indies.

Selectors recalled veteran opening batsman Justin Langer for Clarke and left newcomers Mike Hussey and Brad Hodge in the 12-man squad, along with left-arm seamer Nathan Bracken, who did not play in the second Test.

Meanwhile, Australia also appointed the former fitness advisor to Bangladesh Cricket Board, Justin Cordy, as the strength and conditioning coach of the Australian cricket team. He replaces Jock Campbell in the two-year role.

Hussey was Man-of-the-Match for his first innings knock of 137, while Hodge scored a compact 60 on his Test debut. Clarke was out for five in Australia's first innings of 406.

"We think it's time to give him (Clarke) a break, to go back to domestic cricket and clear his head so that he can bat the way we know he can, and the way he knows he can," chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Monday.

"He is a very talented player with a very bright future and we know that he has a very long future ahead of him at Test level."

The squad: Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Ricky Ponting (captain), Mike Hussey, Brad Hodge, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Glenn McGrath, Nathan Bracken. — AFP