Commonwealth Bank Series 2011-12

Clarke hamstring injury serious

Daniel Brettig

March 7, 2012

Comments: 38 | Text size: A | A

Michael Clarke reflects on a tough day in the field, Australia v Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Bank Series, 2nd final, Adelaide, March 6, 2012
Michael Clarke's hamstring injury is set to cost him the early portion of the West Indies tour © Getty Images

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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Posted by Meety 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.

Posted by zenboomerang 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 :) ...

Posted by   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.

Posted by Meety 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!

Posted by symondsthegreat 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

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

Go Srilanka Go! You can do it!!

Posted by porshatom 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.

Posted by Khiladiyon_ka_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

Posted by   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.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 11:20 GMT)

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

Posted by MrArmchairCricket on (March 7, 2012, 9:14 GMT)

Clarke and Pattinson both gone... Sri Lanka can have the CB Series title... I want the heads of our selectors

Posted by featurewriter on (March 7, 2012, 9:12 GMT)

mari2619: Have you been watching the same Shield matches as the rest of us? Shaun Marsh has not been in good form in the four-day game. Liam Davis, however, from WA has been in great form; as has Voges. I'd bring one of them in before Shaun Marsh.

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 7, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

@mari2619 :- "Shaun Marsh should be bought in, he has been knocking the door down in shield cricket"... lol... Yes, trying to escape from the public spotlight... Haven't you watched his last few innings - about as good as he was against India... Sad to say that the CA selectors have left him with some very deep scars to overcome... I wish him the best, but it will be 1-2 years of good performances before he is considered again if at all...

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 7, 2012, 8:42 GMT)

@Meety... Re: Ferguson... lol... Can't even get a game for the SA v Qld match... South Australia: Klinger, Davey, Delaney, Doropoulos, Cooper, George, Head, Putland, Richardson, Mennie, Smith, Stray (12th man to be named)... Notice the missing names?... Looks like a 2nd's SA team atm... Ferguson will be lucky to get into any national team in the forseeable future - not that he isn't a good player, but that his fitness & injury proneness is up there with Marsh(s), Clarke, Watson & Oz already have enough problems with injury prone batsmen...

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

CLARKE has proved himself as a classical player and a thinking captain... go ahead... he can be the deadly combo of PONTING`s batting , MARK TAYLOR`s captaincy..

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 4:43 GMT)

It is sad that we miss Michael Clerke, who is a match-winning captain, and more importantly a Gentleman. He and Hussey brothers made my image towards Australia change a lot, bcoz a few decades back were the guys who I disliked so much. Get well soon, Mr. Clerke.

Posted by zenboomerang on (March 7, 2012, 4:23 GMT)

Clarkes loss as a batsman will be tough to replace... Watson hasn't returned to form batting @25.5 this series - look terrible in the 2nd final being out 3 times (eventually) & not having a clue what to do, with SR @44... Makes Forrest look like Viv Richards... lol... Pattinsons rushed return has also been a bit of a failure - what was wrong with using Starc, Coulter-Nile, etc... Seeing the final is on the same pitch I would definitely bring in Lyon & open the bowling with a spinner at one end...

Posted by Khiladiyon_ka_khiladi on (March 7, 2012, 3:56 GMT)

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 kumble used to do for India and won that match with a broken jaw , Even Lankans are not playing with fully fit players in this series.

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 7, 2012, 3:35 GMT)

Shaun Marsh should be bought in, he has been knocking the door down in shield cricket, why are aussie selectors so bias against this player.

Posted by Meety on (March 7, 2012, 3:21 GMT)

@jmcilhinney - whilst I like Oz sitting at the top of the ODI rankings, I think that is really secondary to the test ratings & won't have much consideration in terms of Pup's recovery. @getaclue - my top 2 would be Ferguson & Voges.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 3:09 GMT)

atleast now they should give a chance to Ferguson...therez no point in creating noder Brad Hodge out f him

Posted by gayansumeera2 on (March 7, 2012, 2:56 GMT)

Ha ha! this absent of clarke in the 3rd final wouldn't alter his record of being non-defeat in a series that he has captained so far.Because Australia will definitely lose the cb series this time irrespectively of clarke's present or absent.

Posted by KelvinLTR on (March 7, 2012, 2:49 GMT)

Michael Clarke, even though he is playing against us tomorrow is such a wonderful player. wish he will get well soon

Posted by kitten on (March 7, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

It's a shame, because Clarke is in such good form at the moment, and also his omission will certainly be a big blow to the Aussies. SL, in spite of dropping half a dozen catches, still managed to beat them, and that was with Clarke in the team, and he scored a hundred. SL have beaten Australia four times out of six encounters, and in fact came close to winning the first final as well. Unless, the whole team finds it's form, and plays like India did, when they were desperate, SL will lift this trophy. Australia, do have brilliant players like Warner, both the Hussey brothers, and ofcourse Watson who has not yet regained his form, and if they do, then for sure they will stand a chance. I also firmly believe, Watson should open with Warner. He is good in that position, and he should get full permission to play his natural game, and we will then see some fireworks. Looking forward to a good game.

Posted by isurangapasan on (March 7, 2012, 2:29 GMT)

It's sad to hear, I am a big fan of Clarke. Evan i am a sri lankan. but it is a big blow for Aussies.

Posted by jasonpete on (March 7, 2012, 2:22 GMT)

Get well soon Pup.Its a big blow to us.

Posted by BaggyGreen2 on (March 7, 2012, 2:16 GMT)

Bugger Clarkey, Bring back Punter for the ODI'S too. 75 no and 130 recent matches.

Posted by farkin on (March 7, 2012, 2:10 GMT)

this is what you get when money overvalues a persons health

Posted by maximus1982 on (March 7, 2012, 2:00 GMT)

who plays...who does not plays sri lanka is going to win the cup this time. the chances for them are very high this time..they are playing good positive cricket.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

it's sad to hear, i am big fan of clarke, even i am a sri lankan, it is big blow for the Aussies. also he 's the only batsman that have consistence against sri lankan bowlers.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (March 7, 2012, 1:19 GMT)

Huge blow for Australia. On terms of injuries, I believe the two teams are equal now. Sri Lanka are without their two main bowling/batting/fielding all rounders (Matthews being the most economical Sri Lankan bowler in the tournament) and now Australia are without their main batsman/captain. Forrest will be keen to show his form so he can travel to the Windies and Lanka need to be aware of that. Advantage on an Adelaide Pitch goes to Lanka in the decider

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

Real dilemma for the Aussies in the 3rd final... Losing Clark equals to losing 1/2 the side when it comes against the Sri Lankans... Sri Lankans will not like the fact the Pattinson is missing the match... They have batted brilliantly against him... If Mathews is fit Sri Lanka will be in a very strong state...

Posted by Sinhaya on (March 7, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Oh Clarke! Why did you want to play when you were not really 100% fit?? I think you are even safer skipping the first test against West Indies.

Posted by   on (March 7, 2012, 0:51 GMT)

Michael Clarke is directly responsible for Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting axing. No wonder he is having all these problems. He has no options now but to retire from Cricket altogether. "What goes around comes around"...

Posted by jmcilhinney on (March 7, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

That's a big blow for Clarke and Australia. He seems to be revelling in the captaincy, with his batting and captaincy looking good. Every sportsman gets injured at some time or another but this seems to be a bad time for this to happen to the Australian captain, with the CB series on the line and the possibility of slipping in the ODI rankings with a poor showing in WI.

Posted by MinusZero on (March 7, 2012, 0:01 GMT)

Typical, players are always rushed back too early.

Posted by getaclue on (March 6, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

ferguson, quiney or maxy klinger should be at the top of the list to replace clarke in the squad for WI!

Posted by Wallaroo on (March 6, 2012, 23:20 GMT)

Get well soon Pup, mate you are a credit to the team and Australia.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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