Australia news September 3, 2014

Clarke faces race to make UAE tour


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Coverdale: Clarke needs to think about ODIs after World Cup

Australia's captain Michael Clarke will face a race against time to prove his fitness for the series against Pakistan in the UAE after scans confirmed an injury to his left hamstring.

Clarke arrived back in Sydney on Tuesday after leaving the Zimbabwe tri-series early and he now faces an intensive rehabilitation programme with the first ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah less than five weeks away.

"Michael Clarke had an MRI scan on returning from Zimbabwe that has confirmed a left hamstring muscle injury," Alex Kountouris, the Cricket Australia physio, said. "He will have intensive rehabilitation for this injury and we will be monitoring his progress over the next week before deciding when he can return to training and playing."

Clarke suffered the injury at Australia's first training session after arriving in Zimbabwe and missed the first two matches. He was passed fit to play the third game against Zimbabwe but aggravated the injury during his innings of 68 not out.

Although Clarke remained off the field at the start of Zimbabwe's chase, he returned to take charge as Zimbabwe progressed and he even bowled an over in what became Australia's first ODI loss to Zimbabwe in 31 years.

It is unclear whether the injury worsened as a result of his fielding or bowling, but having returned home he must now turn his attention solely to regaining fitness for the UAE tour. Australia play three ODIs against Pakistan before the first Test in Dubai, which begins on October 22.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • asad on September 4, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    @electric_loco_WAP4: Pakistan aren't doing that well these days but you might be underestimating them too much. The pitches in UAE are best for spinners. That means trouble for Australia who already can't play spin. Ajmal & Hafeez will be very dangerous against this Aus team who can't play spin. But on the flip side our batting is very bad (it would be a bit better if Fawad & Sarfraz played all formats). You can expect this series to probably be a low scoring one. As for your question about can we last even 40 overs against best bowling in the world, we did that regularly last year against SA. If you think Australia is the best bowling then you're definitely wrong.

  • subhasish on September 4, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    i think aus need to pick to dhourty for odis in uae he is aus best odi spinner lyon is gud but he is to young to pick in wc squrd i pick dhourty in 15 men wc squad if he is not pick aus selector made a big mistake wc started in feb end of aus summer pitches was not fresh at that time becoz all 1st class matches have been played so pitches will hel spinner odis hard to play left aem spinner they can dry up the runs luk jadega from india he bowl vrey well in all pitches so pick dhourty.clarke need rest give him reast he can back fully fit vs sa in home 5 match odi series just play clarke in test in uae vs pak then he plat those odis in home in pick tom cooper to replace clarke in odis in uae .plz publish

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    clark should be retired from onedays

  • Dummy4 on September 4, 2014, 10:15 GMT

    The worst thing for Australia would be to make Watson captain. He cannot handle pressure - seen that many times in IPL. He gives up too easily. Bailey is only as good as his team - nothing special. So without Clark Australia will suffer.

  • subhasish on September 4, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    i donot want to risk clarke in 3 match odi series in uae vs pak aus got got players to win them the series aganigt pak pak team was strugaling aus donot need clarke

  • James on September 4, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    @Praspunter: Ending your career in the old blighty, thousand of miles away from home, in front of unappreciative crowds is hardly the way to go. Ending your career away from home isn't ideal, he won't retire there.

  • Prasanna on September 4, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    I think Clarke must quit ODIs to prolong his test career. We have got an Ashes series to retain. And I dont see Pup playing beyond Ashes 2015. Got nothing left to prove. And given his injuries, he would walk away if we are able to retain the Ashes next year.

  • sam on September 4, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    @ Ashokdmightyindian - Nice to hear of your concerns regarding Aussie team.But it would of least bother to the Aussies themselves how they will go in UAE. Such is the gulf between Aussie and Pak teams that even with half the Aus A team ,they will be easily able to w/w Pak ,all in 4 days 3-0. Do you think this awful Pak batting will last even 40 overs vs best bowling attack in world? I'm Indian by the way.

  • Bren on September 4, 2014, 3:57 GMT

    Clarkey knows his own body - if he feels he is ok to continue ODI's then maybe he should. Having said that, the performance against SA the other night without both Clarke and Watson shows that there might be a changing of the guard in ODI in store for Australia anyway

  • Ross on September 4, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Likes of Doolan, Hughes, Khawaja and White will all be in the mix to get into the squad but i do hope Clarke is fit to go as this series will be dictated by spin.

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