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Injury rules out top Australians

Michael Clarke and Shane Watson have been ruled out of Australia's opening Twenty20 World Championship match against Zimbabwe in Cape Town through injury.

Clarke, who suffered a lower abdominal strain while training last Thursday, is hopeful of playing England in Australia's second group match on Friday.

While allrounder Watson is expected to be targeting Australia's first game of the Super Eights stage on Sunday for his comeback from a hamstring concern.

Ricky Ponting will captain the side in their tournament debut despite only arriving in South Africa on Monday night after remaining in Australia for an extra week because of a health issue with his wife.

Matthew Hayden has also been cleared to play after struggling with back spasms over the weekend.

Brad Hogg has been named 12th man, with swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus the other player to miss out from the 15-man squad.

There were fears showers could threaten the game, but conditions looked promising as the Australian team trained at Newlands in the early afternoon.

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