Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12 March 7, 2012

Clarke hamstring injury serious


Michael Clarke's left hamstring injury is believed to be serious enough to rule him out of the entire limited-overs portion of Australia's looming West Indies tour. He is therefore set to miss Thursday's third tri-series final against Sri Lanka.

After leading his side to an eight-wicket defeat in the second final in Adelaide, Clarke said he was unsure of the extent of the strain that affected him during his century in the afternoon. He took the field in the evening as the Sri Lankans drew level.

Clarke was due to undergo scans on his hamstring on Wednesday, however ESPNcricinfo understands the strain is likely to be serious enough to rule him out for up to four weeks, putting the captain in a fight to be fit for the Test matches in the Caribbean, and certain to miss the ODIs. The first Test will begin in Barbados on April 7.

This scenario leaves the vice-captain Shane Watson to lead Australia in the West Indies for the early part of the tour, with Clarke's arrival possibly delayed to allow him time to recuperate at home.

Mickey Arthur, the Australia coach, confirmed Clarke would be missing from the early part of the West Indies tour, though the results of the scans were yet to be known. However Arthur defended the decision to rush Clarke back into the team for the triangular series finals.

"It doesn't look great for certainly the early part of the one-day series in the West Indies," Arthur said. "In your round robin phases it's obviously about building a base and giving opportunities. But when you get to the finals, we were always prepared to risk a player in order to win a final. So I certainly think it was worth the risk."

Arthur pointed out that while Clarke had missed numerous ODIs across his career due to injury, he had always been fit to play Tests, not missing a single match due to injury since his debut in 2004.

"I'd have to say Michael is the most professional guy I've certainly seen in my time in terms of the way he manages his body [and] the way he goes about his treatment," Arthur said. "He is very methodical and very professional, so he's got every chance to keep getting it right.

"We were just looking through the stats last night, funnily enough, when we were having a chat. I think Mike has missed 15 ODIs through injury [and] he hasn't missed a Test yet. That's a pretty good record so no area for concern just yet. He's always on top of his game and he's always making sure he's looking after that department."

George Bailey and Nathan Lyon, both slated to travel to the Caribbean, have been called in as reinforcements for the third final against Sri Lanka on Thursday.

Clarke's is not the only injury problem for Australia, with the fast bowler James Pattinson also missing the third final due to a glute strain he picked up while fielding. The injury took place only three matches into Pattinson's return from the foot stress injury that shortened his Test summer.

"James Pattinson's done a little bit of a glute, he's also having a scan, so James Pattinson will not be playing tomorrow," Arthur said. "Patto's first [injury] was a stress fracture of the foot, which is just caused by excessive use on hard wickets, and last night he dived for a ball on the boundary and just pulled a glute, he's done something and that'll probably be seven to ten days, not serious but we need to get it scanned."

Edited by Brydon Coverdale

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Andrew on March 9, 2012, 21:15 GMT

    @zenboomerang - Oh, so AVERAGES are the key component in selecting an ODI player? Well I would take a bloke who has an ODI average over 40 in ODIs. So according to you, as Ferguson has injury problems, we should exclude Watson, Marsh & Clarke from selection? The fact is IF he is fit, past injuries are of no issue, form is. Talk about cherrypicking re Butterworth! LOL! He batted about 4 times all season! LOL! Now that was a desperate arguement!!!! The Forrest issue has clearly got another agenda, anybody with any semblance of understanding would know that Forrest was selected with as an audition to the Baggygreen. Glad you don't select the ODI squad! LOL! By the way, the words in capital, are highlighting points so as you don't miss the facts (AGAIN!) LOL! @Randal Torrens - I agree. Although I have no doubts he would of been able to rack up a good score, he would of been a complete passenger in the field, which would of been exploited.

  • Roo on March 9, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    @Meety :- "Ferguson was the FOURTH highest scorer in the recent Ryobi domestic FIFTY over comp!!!! LOL!!! "... Shouting doesn't help :P ... Ferguson (@52) is no.13 in the list of top OD domestic batsmens averages... lol... Butterworth 63... Doherty 65... Cooper 73... Again you didn't answer my questions on Ferguson frail health?... Your selection process would cripple Oz ODI squad... lol... Didn't you notice that the NSP selected Forrest for ODI duties based on his Shield form & not OD form?... lol... Time to get up to date again meety :) ...

  • Dummy4 on March 8, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    The people in this blog who are saying that Clark should play despite his hamstring injury have clearly never had a hamstring injury themselves. If they had, then they'd know how difficult it is to even walk, let alone run. And what good is a cricketer that cannot run or walk? The selectors need to reassess their bowling choices, the slow bowlers have been going for about 4-5 runs an over, the quicks have been going for about 9 runs an over. We clearly don't need too many Lees or Pattinsons on the park at the same time. And without Clark on board they should bring back Ponting. He's a class player whose experience will be vital in this final.

  • Andrew on March 7, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    @zenboomerang - LOL! Apart from the fact you are talking about SHIELD cricket, Ferguson was the FOURTH highest scorer in the recent Ryobi domestic FIFTY over comp!!!! LOL!!! His average was OVER 50 LOL! & had a S/R around 85 LOL!. I couldn't care less as to what the make up of the current Sth Ozzy shield side is LOL!, clearly Ferguson has not performed in Shield cricket, whilst conversely has done very well in limited overs. Coupled with a PROVEN record in Internationals, Ferguson is easily the best like for like replacement for Clarke going around! LOL! Glad you are not a selector!

  • vimalan on March 7, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    If shane watson captains tomorrow then AUS will have reasonable chance of winning the title, He is the leader , Clark is good player , I dont feel he is captain material

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Go Srilanka Go! You can do it!!

  • Tomislav on March 7, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    @Hermano Bangera "Michael Clarke is directly responsible for Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting axing". 100% correct & he has done that to bring in players he has a better personal relationship with to the detriment of the overall team. There is no boubt in my mind, Clarke's current injury is directly related to him rushing back to begin his reign after Pontings axing. If he didn't Axe ponting mid series Clarke could have had a couple of extra games off, been good for the finals & good for the West Indies. I am dissapointed in Clarke he is good batsmen. I forgive him for losing games for australia in 20/20 due to his slow strike rate. Peace.

  • Khiladi on March 7, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @Joel Richards ....Its not my fault, players use to do that from a long time to avoid the can see in between the match that when batsmen hammers bowlers then they go out of field soon saying got hamstring and blah as captain sense the result of series and tries to get out of responsibility..As say He was injured from a long time now But when they reached to final he came back to defend the title but lankans hammered them even in both finals Now he is going. I think its good to consider this side of coin too.

    @MrArmchairCricket Lankans are winning easily in presence of them too dear

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2012, 11:34 GMT

    @Khiladiyon_ka_khiladi "Can't understand why ppl gets injured to take rest, when they starts losing and when opposition is on top True captain must lead his team even if he is injured."

    Seems you have got no idea what AN INJURY means in this game. An injury in a part of the body that does not affect the game is not similar to an injury that does not make you play. Guess you are in the wrong page.

  • Dummy4 on March 7, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    bring back ponting plzzzzzzzzzzzz for w.i odis,, and so on,,,

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