Clarke leaves fitness call to last minute

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Australia captain Michael Clarke put himself through a tough fitness test but did not decide whether he could lead his side in today’s second cricket Test against Sri Lanka.

Clarke suffered a hamstring injury during last week’s 137-run win by Australia in the first Test and has made steady improvement in recent days, including batting and fielding sessions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Christmas Day.

“I haven’t run at a 100 per cent but I’ve certainly built up over the last three days,” said Clarke.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said he is expecting some repercussions at the MCG amid tensions over ball-tampering accusations made against Australia’s Peter Siddle.

Sri Lanka made an unofficial complaint to International Cricket Council match referee Chris Broad during the first test in Hobart last week. Although the allegation was dismissed, Siddle said later he was upset because his name had been mentioned critically in social media following the complaint.

“You have to remember there will be a good partisan Sri Lankan crowd,” said Jayawardene. It might go against him [Siddle]. We can’t control what happens out there.”