17 Dec 2014

Dhoni says loss of Clarke will hurt Australia

6:25 am on 17 December 2014

The Indian cricket captain MS Dhoni says Michael Clarke's hamstring injury has boosted India's hopes of squaring the Test series in Brisbane.

The India cricket captain MS Dhoni.

The India cricket captain MS Dhoni. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Dhoni will return to captain India in the second Test, which starts at the Gabba today.

Dhoni missed last week's first Test in Adelaide due to a thumb injury, with Virat Kohli leading the side in his absence.

While the 33-year-old wicketkeeper has been passed fit, Clarke was due to undergo surgery yesterday and will miss the rest of the four-Test series.

Dhoni says it's unfortunate he's missing a Test series because of injury.

"To some extent it will help us, him not being there.

"That's quite a big blow ... simple stats say he comes in and scores runs."

Australia has made the Gabba a fortress, with the most recent Test loss at the venue in 1988.

Dhoni suggested his team-mates would not be intimidated by the traditional green top.

"The last couple of tours we haven't played here," Dhoni said.

"We have won at some of the fastest Test wickets - Johannesburg and Perth.

"There will be something extra for the bowlers, especially the fast bowlers."

Dhoni was tightlipped about his XI, but off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could be recalled at the expense of leg-spinner Karn Sharma.

Dhoni said Kohli did a "fantastic job" captaining India in the first Test.

Kohli scored two centuries as India suffered a late collapse to lose by 48 runs.

"It was the right approach, we went for the target which was important," Dhoni said.

"We did the right thing."

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