Cricket - Clarke: Australia united

Michael Clarke maintains that the Australia camp is united following a chaotic week for the tourists.

PA Sport
Cricket - Clarke: Australia united
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Michael Clarke, left, acknowledges David Warner's actions have affected the camp

Questions have been asked of the captain's fitness with him playing no competitive cricket since arriving in England. It was then revealed that David Warner had punched England's Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham prompting him to be dropped from the side for Wednesday's game against New Zealand which did not produce a result due to the weather.

The following day Warner was fined £7,000, banned until the start of the Ashes on July 10 and forced to offer a grovelling apology. "I think the feeling in the camp has obviously been a little bit different over the past few days because there's been a little bit of disappointment in one of our players with what's happened over the past week," Clarke said.

"But I can guarantee you we left it there after I did the press conference a couple of days ago now. We left it there as a team and now we look forward."

When asked whether the affair had caused a divide in the dressing room, Clarke responded: "Not at all."

Warner's suspension will make it difficult for Australia to select him for the opening Ashes Test at Trent Bridge as he will be seriously lacking time in the middle. And while coach Mickey Arthur has not ruled out selecting the 26-year-old, he admits it would be a risky manoeuvre for the tourists to try.

He told www.cricket.com.au: "He wouldn't have had a lot of cricket, he will have had a lot training, mind you, but no cricket.

"We've got plans to give him some centre-wicket practice etc, but it would be (a risk to play him in the first Test) and I guess it's a chance for the other batsmen in the squad to step up in the first two practice games.

"Because if they do that, they're likely start in the first Ashes Test."

He added: "We've got to give David (Warner) the best possible chance, the best possible preparation to be ready for the first Test match if we select him. He's now gone from the white ball to the red ball, so he's working daily on that."

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