Champions Trophy 2013 June 6, 2013

Clarke ruled out of England match

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Michael Clarke has been ruled out of Australia's opening Champions Trophy match against England on Saturday and vice-captain George Bailey will lead the side in his absence. Clarke's involvement in the rest of the tournament also remains uncertain as he continues to battle a long-standing back problem that kept him from playing either of the two warm-up matches against West Indies and India.

"Michael is making steady progress in his recovery from the recent lower back injury but is yet to return to training," Alex Kountouris, the team physio, said on Friday morning. "He will remain in London over the coming days to continue his rehabilitation and will not be available for the first match against England on Saturday. How he responds to the ongoing treatment will determine his availability for the match against New Zealand next Wednesday."

The situation is also a concern for the Australians just over a month from the first Test of the Ashes, for although Clarke has had the back problem since he was a teenager it appears to have affected him more over the past few months than in the past. He missed Australia's most recent Test, the loss to India in Delhi, and it was the first time he has been forced to sit out of a Test due to his back trouble.

On Thursday, Kountouris conceded that the abbreviated nature of the Champions Trophy meant Clarke's participation in any part of it was uncertain and it could also depend on whether the Australians move past the group stage.

"We are just trying to get him right," Kountouris said. "He has had this before so we know how it plays out and we know the treatment that he needs to get him right. But being such a short tournament we're racing against time to get him fit.

"We certainly won't be taking any risks. It is a really important time of the year for us, that goes without saying. This is an important tournament too so we'll get him up for whatever games we can and won't take any stupid risks. Firstly he needs to be pain free, which he's not at the moment.

"Then we need to put him through a series of tests, get him running and batting and get him doing things he'd normally do. We need him training at full intensity before we get him on the park."

News of Clarke's injury has compounded Australia's far from perfect preparation to this event. They were bowled out for just 65 in their warm-up game against India and David Warner, one of their opening batsmen, has been dismissed for 0 in both warm-up games.

But Bailey reacted to the news phlegmatically. "It's a great opportunity for us to prove a lot of people wrong," he said.

"Honestly, I reckon all sides believe they can win the tournament. In terms of a cricket spectacle, that must be really exciting for the fans around the globe knowing that your country is in with a real shot at winning the title.

"Our best is still as good as anyone else or any other teams in the world. If we play our best cricket, I've got no doubt we can win the tournament and we probably will win the tournament.

"There's no doubt it's a blow. We'd love to have Pup with us as a batsman and as our captain. But it is what it is, and we have to deal with the fact that we don't have him for tomorrow. The challenge is there and the opportunity is there for the rest of us to step up, and I know it will be a great boost to the side to know that we can win without him."

Story updated at 0700 GMT to confirm that Clarke had been ruled out and at 1400 to add Bailey's reaction

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 8, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    People are commenting on anything but the topic - from bowling attacks of India & Pakistan to whether neutral audiences will be attracted (English people are called 'neutral' in their own country.. wow) to even inferiority complex!!

    So about the topic, I feel that its going to be a good match cause both teams have struggled. Australia need some more runs from their batsmen especially opening. England also have some decisions to do with opening and bowling line-up

  • JG2704 on June 8, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan on (June 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT) re "Clive_Dunn And english fans what makes you think that anyone/everone who comments against Eng is Indian?" Probably the user names give part of it away and the fact that most of the people have gone on about India's matches on the same threads. Other nations' fans would go on about their own country. BTW - I have already said what was incorrect re samincolumbia/Iqbal Satrio Nindito's comms on this thread. Maybe you could point out where I'm incorrect. BTW I don't condone FFL's gloating comms and I don't agree with JMC on this one but TBH is spot on.

  • sachin_vvsfan on June 8, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    @jmcilhinney colonialism!! We were taught this in our schools in history subject but most of the younger generation don't really care about this or they simply remain ignorant. "Do you contend that noone in India harbours any ill feeling towards England as a result of past English rule?" Well i am not sure. May be my grand fathers(not alive) generation have that feeling. And most of the times the hostility that you see from Indian fans is purely based on cricketing reasons. You would see the same hostility even in Aus and SL forums as well( Pakistan may be different though)England joined the list after they snatched the test rankings from us. The media sensation was too much when we became num 1 and No Indian fan expected that time to loose to a weaker(that s the perception) England.

    That said i am asking this question out of curiosity . Have you seen the same hostility from Indians in other forums (other than sport)?

  • Harmony1111 on June 8, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    No matter who wins today. Both Australia and England will qualify for semis from group A. Pakistan and WI or SA will qualify for semis from group B. As usual India will get knocked out after group matches. That is what we have been seeing for ages now. Congrats both Australia and England for today's match...!!!

  • on June 8, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @jmcilhinney- I agree mate, I am actually Aussie and am constantly aware of anglophobia in my country. I suppose it is inevitable hangover from the heady days of Empire! That said at the moment England is certainly the superior country to mine as far as cricket goes..

  • latecut_04 on June 8, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (June 8, 2013, 6:47 GMT)-that was quite a matter of fact kind of post from you.But would definitely like to clarify a bit.Among Indians if at all there is resentment it is towards those English nationals who still harbor the colonial mentality(and NOT against England the nation or English cricket.) I am from India and have lived here all life and am a big fan of current Engliht test side with its workman style batting and balanced bowling(termed 'orthodox' by many but has many takers in India).Also i would prefer the professionlism and cricketing skills a cricketer can pick up from county season any day over IPL.Not saying IPL is totally bad but there is good and bad(like in all walks of life)hope point gets noted..please pubish..

  • Jayzuz on June 8, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket, don't kid yourself that you are "neutral" observer. Your attitude towards the western nations' teams is obvious. Australia and England are ranked 2 and 3 in ODIs, so what does this say for the "star power" of all those below them? BTW, Watson just won the player of the series in the IPL. That must be embarrassing for you. Faulkner and Johnson took 28 and 24 wickets - second and third highest for the comp. Watson finished 5th in runs. Too bad Hussey isn't there, as he finished first.

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @Imsrk on (June 8, 2013, 6:24 GMT), England is much better than Bangladesh in ODIs. Phew! Now the balance of the universe has been restored.

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan on (June 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT), I don't think anyone is saying that everyone who has a bad word to say about England is Indian and I'm certainly not saying that every Indian or even every Indian cricket fan hates England because of colonialism. That said, I live in Australia and there's still a resentment toward England here because of colonialism and the majority of Australians are actually British a few generations back so I know what it looks like. There's certainly resentment in the Australian Aboriginal community so to deny that it exists in India is burying your head in the sand. My comment was not intended to be an attack on anyone. It was simply an explanation for some of the hostility we see here from some Indian fans. I wasn't saying that it is good or bad, right or wrong, but simply that it is. Do you contend that noone in India harbours any ill feeling towards England as a result of past English rule?

  • warneneverchuck on June 8, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Eng is no better than BD in OdI

  • on June 8, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    People are commenting on anything but the topic - from bowling attacks of India & Pakistan to whether neutral audiences will be attracted (English people are called 'neutral' in their own country.. wow) to even inferiority complex!!

    So about the topic, I feel that its going to be a good match cause both teams have struggled. Australia need some more runs from their batsmen especially opening. England also have some decisions to do with opening and bowling line-up

  • JG2704 on June 8, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan on (June 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT) re "Clive_Dunn And english fans what makes you think that anyone/everone who comments against Eng is Indian?" Probably the user names give part of it away and the fact that most of the people have gone on about India's matches on the same threads. Other nations' fans would go on about their own country. BTW - I have already said what was incorrect re samincolumbia/Iqbal Satrio Nindito's comms on this thread. Maybe you could point out where I'm incorrect. BTW I don't condone FFL's gloating comms and I don't agree with JMC on this one but TBH is spot on.

  • sachin_vvsfan on June 8, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    @jmcilhinney colonialism!! We were taught this in our schools in history subject but most of the younger generation don't really care about this or they simply remain ignorant. "Do you contend that noone in India harbours any ill feeling towards England as a result of past English rule?" Well i am not sure. May be my grand fathers(not alive) generation have that feeling. And most of the times the hostility that you see from Indian fans is purely based on cricketing reasons. You would see the same hostility even in Aus and SL forums as well( Pakistan may be different though)England joined the list after they snatched the test rankings from us. The media sensation was too much when we became num 1 and No Indian fan expected that time to loose to a weaker(that s the perception) England.

    That said i am asking this question out of curiosity . Have you seen the same hostility from Indians in other forums (other than sport)?

  • Harmony1111 on June 8, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    No matter who wins today. Both Australia and England will qualify for semis from group A. Pakistan and WI or SA will qualify for semis from group B. As usual India will get knocked out after group matches. That is what we have been seeing for ages now. Congrats both Australia and England for today's match...!!!

  • on June 8, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @jmcilhinney- I agree mate, I am actually Aussie and am constantly aware of anglophobia in my country. I suppose it is inevitable hangover from the heady days of Empire! That said at the moment England is certainly the superior country to mine as far as cricket goes..

  • latecut_04 on June 8, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    @jmcilhinney on (June 8, 2013, 6:47 GMT)-that was quite a matter of fact kind of post from you.But would definitely like to clarify a bit.Among Indians if at all there is resentment it is towards those English nationals who still harbor the colonial mentality(and NOT against England the nation or English cricket.) I am from India and have lived here all life and am a big fan of current Engliht test side with its workman style batting and balanced bowling(termed 'orthodox' by many but has many takers in India).Also i would prefer the professionlism and cricketing skills a cricketer can pick up from county season any day over IPL.Not saying IPL is totally bad but there is good and bad(like in all walks of life)hope point gets noted..please pubish..

  • Jayzuz on June 8, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @Eat_sleep_play_cricket, don't kid yourself that you are "neutral" observer. Your attitude towards the western nations' teams is obvious. Australia and England are ranked 2 and 3 in ODIs, so what does this say for the "star power" of all those below them? BTW, Watson just won the player of the series in the IPL. That must be embarrassing for you. Faulkner and Johnson took 28 and 24 wickets - second and third highest for the comp. Watson finished 5th in runs. Too bad Hussey isn't there, as he finished first.

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    @Imsrk on (June 8, 2013, 6:24 GMT), England is much better than Bangladesh in ODIs. Phew! Now the balance of the universe has been restored.

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    @sachin_vvsfan on (June 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT), I don't think anyone is saying that everyone who has a bad word to say about England is Indian and I'm certainly not saying that every Indian or even every Indian cricket fan hates England because of colonialism. That said, I live in Australia and there's still a resentment toward England here because of colonialism and the majority of Australians are actually British a few generations back so I know what it looks like. There's certainly resentment in the Australian Aboriginal community so to deny that it exists in India is burying your head in the sand. My comment was not intended to be an attack on anyone. It was simply an explanation for some of the hostility we see here from some Indian fans. I wasn't saying that it is good or bad, right or wrong, but simply that it is. Do you contend that noone in India harbours any ill feeling towards England as a result of past English rule?

  • warneneverchuck on June 8, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Eng is no better than BD in OdI

  • kishoreb4 on June 8, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    I don't think it's a humongous task for Australia to win this game.They will win this pretty easily and comfortably.Once Watson and Warner get going things will be much easier for them.All d very best Aussies!!

  • sachin_vvsfan on June 8, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    I guess this game will be lot closer than what some Eng fans predict. A rapid 60/70 from warner and watson should make it a contest. They may be poor in test but in shorter formats i will always have a place for watson.

    @jmcilhinney @The_bowlers_Holding , Thats really a pathetic comment. I have read many balanced comments from @jmcilhinney but this is absolutely pathetic. If you have the same media scrutiny as ours then we too can stereotype the same things(what The_bowlers_Holding mentioned) about you. May be we should just restrict the discussion to cricket.

    @Clive_Dunn And english fans what makes you think that anyone/everone who comments against Eng is Indian? @Iqbal Satrio Nindito is not even Indian and i did not find anything wrong with @yuvi_gladiator , @samincolumbia comments who were just responding to FFL .

  • HawK89 on June 8, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    England are going to stomp Australia this ODI match, as well as the upcoming Ashes. Too bad that Richie, Ian and Bill are going to live long enough to see Australia hit rock bottom.

  • AKS286 on June 8, 2013, 4:21 GMT

    @Iqbal Satrio Nindito- Australia can hire a captain for Ashes like Ross Taylor, Graeme Smith, Sammy, Younis Khan, Mahela, etc. Because now law is changed and as per clause special individual, in certain circumstances (Ashes fear) & benefit for Australia they can hire a captain. and also Gambhir should replace Cowan & Bishoo for reserve spinner.

  • jmcilhinney on June 8, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    @The_bowlers_Holding on (June 7, 2013, 23:24 GMT), it's an inferiority complex. Many Indians resent the fact that England once ruled India and feel compelled to continually prove how independent and strong they are and, in fact, how much better they are than England and the English. I really think that most everyday English people have al but forgotten the empire but it still seems to be going strong in the minds of some in the old territories.

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on June 8, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    @ RednWhiteArmy: If you think India has a pathetic bowling ask your team how does it feel when they were thrashed 4-0 in ODI's in 2011 and later 3-2 thrashing english received last year. Here is a link to a match when yuvi hit 6 sixers of Broad - Hope this makes you happy!

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/twenty20wc/content/story/311684.html

  • Eat_Sleep_Play_Cricket on June 8, 2013, 2:24 GMT

    This will be the most boring match of the CT. Neither team has the star power to attract the neutral audience. English are just paper tigers and cant back up their fans high expectations and OZ's with the recent trashing against Team INDIA have their confidence against the wall. Hope OZ bat first and bundle out before 100 and later english loose by 1 run while chasing it. At least this makes match little exciting for rest of the audience.

  • on June 8, 2013, 1:19 GMT

    To be honest, I think that the matches could be a lot closer than most think.

  • on June 7, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    I would go with england they look in better form than the aussies even though they lost against new zealand. there is always advantage in home conditions. i really wanted KP to play.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on June 7, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    What is the obsession of Indian fans with England? I don't think it is because we beat you in tests home and away, it is something deeper and maybe linked to the very make up along with not respecting women, tendency to idolise average players and penchant for corruption. Personally I wouldn't care how India gets on other than when they play England of course, just take a deep breath and relax before making predictions of 4 to 5 decades of dominance based on ONE RESULT. Peace.

  • RednWhiteArmy on June 7, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    This should merely a walk in the park for England. If the aussies got 45 or whatever they got against the terrible indian bowling attack, then i think they are a real chance of getting bowled out for a single figure score. My guess is all out for 7

  • Clive_Dunn on June 7, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    It seems that it just takes one decent series ( against really weak opposition ) to bring out the fair weather Indian fans with big mouths and poor memories. I'm an England fan, but I'm rooting for Pup to be fit for the Ashes. Financially our grounds need the games to last at least 3 days and I think the aussies need a fit Clarke to achieve that.

  • RavinALaugh on June 7, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    @yuvi_gladiator: England have been historically poor in ODIs, but the last 2/3 years they've been excellent, including whitewashing Australia (a much better Australia side than this!).

    If you were an Aussie I'd put it down to team faith, but assuming from your name you are Indian I have to conclude you just don't know a lot about the game.

  • JG2704 on June 7, 2013, 19:53 GMT

    @samincolumbia on (June 7, 2013, 17:52 GMT) Hang on a minute there. As much as I cringe at gloating from Eng fans and any cricket fan , FFL was responding to a comment saying "england who just got swept by India" The comment indicates that India gave England a thrashing last time out or that they won the test/50 over and T20 series - neither of which is true. India won the ODIs 3-2 , Eng won the tests 2-1 and the T20s were 1-1 , so if we're valuing the formats the same I'd say that the last tour was level pegging - no?

  • yuvi_gladiator on June 7, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    aus is going to win tomorrow, they are a better one day side than England... also it seems like all the England plans are centered around the two new balls, so if the sun comes out early then its gonna be aussies all the way and if its a little overcast then it will be more competitive but still aus will win... go go go

  • Tlotoxl on June 7, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    @samincolumbia: very few people outside the sub-continent care about ODIs, I am an England fan and I could easily remember almost all of the England test series results over the last ten years, I could usually tell you who did well in the series, who failed, how one-sided or close the matches were.

    For ODIs I can't even remember what the series results were 6 months ago let alone 10 years, most people I talk to are exactly the same, an ODI is an entertaining distraction but the result means sweet FA the next morning let alone in a years time.

  • samincolumbia on June 7, 2013, 17:52 GMT

    @Front foot Lunge - Champions Trophy is an ODI tournament and we all know England's record in WC or any multi nation tournament. As for tests, SA is #1 team and India held the #1 position longer than England did. And speaking of realignment, re-alignment with reality surehelps before posting comments here.

  • on June 7, 2013, 17:51 GMT

    Far too many Eng-Aus matches.

  • xylo on June 7, 2013, 17:27 GMT

    I hope Clarke is not rushed into the side. I believe Clarke, the test batsman is more valuable than Clarke, the ODI batsman. For ODIs, the Australian side has enough thwackers in Warner, Watson, and the likes, that are sitting ducks in tests.

  • Ali_86xz on June 7, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    Why don't Australia use Pattinson and Siddle? Beautiful bowlers they are.

  • Jimmers on June 7, 2013, 13:25 GMT

    The only player they've got who can handle spin is out injured = PLAY TWO SPINNERS!

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 7, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    so this is what clarko meant when he said ''we're going to have a red hot crack''... hope it gets better soon clarko

  • SlipsGlance on June 7, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    Memo to selectors: Ashes important; Champions Trophy not important.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 7, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    @Iqbal Satrio Nindito: Indeed, I certainly have no comment on that, as you seem to have missed the last three years of cricket completely. Let me remind you of the recent test series IN India: where England thrashed India. And of the whitewash in England before that. If you place ODI's over tests, some realigning of your cricketing compass is required.

  • ScottStevo on June 7, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    @Buckers97, Ferguson is the man for our number 6 spot in ODI's - no question about it. He averages over 40 in ODIs (which is higher than his LA average). He'd be an auto selection for me.Also, not sure how where you're getting your figures from bu Steven Smith last season scored LESS FC runs, let alone 3 times more - but their avg's were about the same! S Marsh should be in the ODI side too. This is our problem. We're looking at blokes based purely on stats. Some players excel at the higher pressure situations - looking at Fergusons one day stats, he seems to be that sort of player. If he can avg 40 in SS, then I think he could avg a little higher than that, say 45 in tests. At the moment, we could use a guy like him in the side as we've got no middle order and 5 openers! Smith may have done well in India, but I don't think his technique will hold up against pace/swing.

  • SirViv1973 on June 7, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    I have to agree that keeping him in the squad at all makes little sense with the Ashes so close. There has now got to be huge doubts about Clarke being able to play a full part in the ashes.

  • whatawicket on June 7, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    ok you can rest him but he has or so i have read a condition were the injury can just flare u, so rest may get him over his latest bout, but it just happens why do they think its ideal to play him in any ODIs as hes not that good.

  • on June 7, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    whare is james hopes,andrew mcdonald... i think they r much better limited over allrounders then these dan christiens,m henriques,mitch marsh(ajit agarkar type allrounders)................glenn maxwell and james faulkner are good allrounders,,but no one of them is like andrew flintoff,j kallis,s jaysurya,s watson kapil dev...

  • on June 7, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge

    Looks like you love to bad mouth the aussie eh mate? No comment at all on your mighty england who just got swept by India?

    On topic, I cant really see Clarke playing consistently beyond the Ashes, really. He'll put his back against pain for the back to back(bad pun) Ashes and his back will just get worse from there i think/

    The worse thing is? nobody is a test captain material at the moment for aussie. May god have mercy.

  • Meety on June 7, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Side to play England; 1. Warner, 2. Watson, 3. Hughes, 4. Bailey, 5. Voges, 6. Wade, 7. Marsh or Maxwell, 8. Starc, 9. MJ, 10. McKay, 11. Doherty. Still stat-wise a very good side, not that stats did much a couple of days ago!

  • hotcric01 on June 7, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Bring Shaun Marsh back to the squad.He is the batsman Australia looking for at the moment.He has skills,temperament and experiences to boost the fragile Australian top order.With out of form Warner and Hughes at the top this batting line can't win any game for Australia.Middle order doesn't seem solid either.Victories will depend on swing bowling of Mckay,Starc and all round performance of Watto.

  • CricketMaan on June 7, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    How long will Clarke play ODIs, i guess till the WC and then he only focus on Tests?

  • Greatest_Game on June 7, 2013, 8:40 GMT

    This very bad news is truly the last straw for Aus cricket. After Hussey retired Aus were pretty much down to being a one man show, and with him out of the game Aus will face a very bleak future, while watching the rise of the new Antipodean Superpower, New Zealand.

  • Nayel_19 on June 7, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    although i really dont have any interest in this CT with players like KP,Afridi n lots of others not playing...i wud have really liked to watch Pup play...goin through the warm up match against India i doubt Aus has got the batting line up to win games against quality bowling of Sri Lanka n England....Pup will b missed big time but havin said that i wud rather choose to watch him bat at ashes den this CT... 2012 n 2013 has really been a bad phase for cricket...wonder how will i watch cricket when players AB,KP,Amla n Clarke retires...there will b hardly any batsmen left that youngsters can look upto... :(

  • on June 7, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Never mind just cricket the Ashes is one of the worlds premier rivalries.Without Clarke getting them Back is a very remote possibility.

    I m sure the focus will be Ashes series which for 2 countries ranks higher than another 1 day cup.

  • Buckers97 on June 7, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    @Junaid Khan, you have mentioned players that you think should be in the side but are just to hot & cold. Take Ferguson, scored his first FIRST CLASS century in over two years and you reckon he should be in the AUS team. Steve Smith, you said is a worthless cricketer, made 3 times the amout of runs Ferguson made during the past summer. Made a 90 and 54 against India! Plus he is younger and a better fielder and he is a better chance of taking a wicket than Ferguson. Don't get me wrong, I like Ferguson as a ODI player but he is no worth in test cricket. Same can be said for Voges, Pomersbach, Marsh (Shaun i'm presuming), Paine, Warner & Maxwell.

  • on June 7, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    my xi for eng match---warner,watson,hughes,bailey,wade, voges,maxwell, faulkner,starc,mckay,coulter nile

    this sqad looks much balanced as 6 batters,3 bowlers...1 bowling allrounder,and 1 batting allrounder......(typical one day combination)...

    if clarke is fit to play in next match den drop g bailey...

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 7, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    The excuses started long ago for Aus, but with so many walking jokes in this team the absence of one bad leader won't make a bit of difference. England hardly care about ODI cricket, but they cared enough to whitewash the Aussies 4-0 last year, and they may just care enough to beat this lot without breaking sweat. Bad back, bad leadership, failing team.

  • jmcilhinney on June 7, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    As has been said, Clarke's presence for Australia come the Ashes is critical so risking him at all for this CT when Australia were even money at best to win does seem unwise. As NutCutlet says, everyone wants to see high quality cricket played by all the best players so to lose probably the best batsman on either side would be a great shame for the contest. We don't want any excuses for the Aussie fans after they fail to regain the Ashes again. ;-) Of course, we know will blame the coach and selectors anyway, poor soul.

  • CricketingStargazer on June 7, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    Let's face it, like Michael Atherton before him, his back problems are never going to get better: you manage them or force him into retirement. If Australia were playing Bangladesh or Zimbabwe in Tests this summer he wouldn't worry about missing a match or two, for a high profile series you fix some priorities and the priority has to be getting yourself into the best possible shape for the Tests and not taking silly risks. If Australia were favourites for the Champions Trophy and their chanced rested with him maybe they might risk it, but it makes no sense to put his cricketing summer in danger for a single match in a tournament that even the most ardent Australian fan doesn't expect to win.

    One wonders though just how long Michael Clarke can continue to play at the top level.

  • on June 7, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @Dean Frenkel. Agreed. That sentence by Kountouris is a contradiction in itself-playing him in "any games we can" is a stupid risk if you're trying to manage his degenerative back condition, esp when the ashes are on the horizon. If Kountouris or whoever decides if Clarke plays has any common sense they'll rest him till the ashes. It'll give Bailey valuable captaincy experience too.

  • GeoffreysMother on June 7, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    If three months rest and rehabilitation has not got him right for the opining match of the Champions Trophy her really has no chance of playing a 5 match test series. It will be a shame because Australia (and cricket) need a heroic batsman to inspire another generation, and English fans will miss the chance to see one of the rapidly diminishing store of truly great batsmen. More and more pressure seems to being put on some relatively inexperienced 'quicks' to do everything. Incidentally all the media fuss over Fawad Ahmed can hardly doing the confidence of Nathan Lyon much good.

  • poms_have_short_memories on June 7, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Rest him until the tour games before the ashes start, because, besides Indians who really cares about limited overs cricket anyway?

  • Nutcutlet on June 7, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Let's keep Clarke's fitness in perspective. On a scale of 1 to 10, his absence from Saturday's CT match rates 3. His absence from any Ashes' Test (apart from dead rubber Tests) rates 10 (A dead rubber match would still rate 9, IMO). Of course I'd like England to retain the Ashes, I really hope they do, but - almost more than that - I want the highest class of cricket to be played, with all top players on both sides fully fit & available for selection. Beating an Oz side with a crocked capt is not my idea of a full-flavoured Test win against our oldest & most respected opponents. There is absolutely no contest of any ball sport anywhere between two nations that compares, or comes anywhere near, to an Ashes series, no matter how much money is larded thickly on more gaudy & tawdry competitions. There are some things that are way, way beyond money, esp. in sport & art. Money comes & goes; Ashes' feats will live on, for as long as humanity has the good sense not to destroy itself.

  • on June 7, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    clarke has been the lone warrior for them ever since australia's great big players .....though its a shame for Australian cricket that they are not giving chances yo some of Australia's best players in domestic cricket..they are sticking with warner.wade,cowan,maxwel and seve smith who ae worthless cricketers for me...they should give chances to players like ..ferguson,voges,paine,marsh or pomersbach..they are much more better batsmen

  • on June 7, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Alex Kountoris says, "we'll get him up for whatever games we can and won't take any stupid risks". It sounds like playing in The Champions trophy is a stupid risk. I would have thought that the priority is The Ashes and that a ODI tournament is meaningless by comparison.

  • landl47 on June 7, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Even if he's fit enough to play, Clarke has had no match practice and precious little net practice for almost 3 months. Good player though he is, he's going to come in to this game seriously undercooked.

    I hope he's getting back to full fitness, but rushing him back for this game seems foolish.

  • on June 7, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Go Aussies! Clarke will be fit for tomorrow's game!

  • phermon on June 6, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    "Race against time"? - Time trials are probably not the wisest move for the Pup under the circumstances. Is Bobby Simpson on standby?

  • Mitty2 on June 6, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    Whether he plays or not will be a reflection of our priorities. Before the Indian warm up game, I (embarrassingly) said that we didn't need Clarke for the ODI's because he wasn't nearly as well suited as he is at tests, hasn't been in the best ODI form and we have the continuity and strength in our ODI batsmen to cover without Clarke. How wrong I was.

    A top 3 of Watson, Hughes, Warner, whilst able to put on a big total, is yet again very susceptible to swing bowling, or against India, susceptible to not knowing how to bat in the first place. Although we won't have an accumulator/'rock' at the top of the order, we need Clarke at four to add necessary solidarity, and where Bailey - who is a proven ODI performer and finisher - is at five, it is a much better line up. Wade's batting in ODI's is pretty mediocre so far, but have him at 6 and marsh/Faulkner at 7.

    So in other words, as is true with tests, without Clarke we're screwed.

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  • Mitty2 on June 6, 2013, 23:36 GMT

    Whether he plays or not will be a reflection of our priorities. Before the Indian warm up game, I (embarrassingly) said that we didn't need Clarke for the ODI's because he wasn't nearly as well suited as he is at tests, hasn't been in the best ODI form and we have the continuity and strength in our ODI batsmen to cover without Clarke. How wrong I was.

    A top 3 of Watson, Hughes, Warner, whilst able to put on a big total, is yet again very susceptible to swing bowling, or against India, susceptible to not knowing how to bat in the first place. Although we won't have an accumulator/'rock' at the top of the order, we need Clarke at four to add necessary solidarity, and where Bailey - who is a proven ODI performer and finisher - is at five, it is a much better line up. Wade's batting in ODI's is pretty mediocre so far, but have him at 6 and marsh/Faulkner at 7.

    So in other words, as is true with tests, without Clarke we're screwed.

  • phermon on June 6, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    "Race against time"? - Time trials are probably not the wisest move for the Pup under the circumstances. Is Bobby Simpson on standby?

  • on June 7, 2013, 4:35 GMT

    Go Aussies! Clarke will be fit for tomorrow's game!

  • landl47 on June 7, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Even if he's fit enough to play, Clarke has had no match practice and precious little net practice for almost 3 months. Good player though he is, he's going to come in to this game seriously undercooked.

    I hope he's getting back to full fitness, but rushing him back for this game seems foolish.

  • on June 7, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    Alex Kountoris says, "we'll get him up for whatever games we can and won't take any stupid risks". It sounds like playing in The Champions trophy is a stupid risk. I would have thought that the priority is The Ashes and that a ODI tournament is meaningless by comparison.

  • on June 7, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    clarke has been the lone warrior for them ever since australia's great big players .....though its a shame for Australian cricket that they are not giving chances yo some of Australia's best players in domestic cricket..they are sticking with warner.wade,cowan,maxwel and seve smith who ae worthless cricketers for me...they should give chances to players like ..ferguson,voges,paine,marsh or pomersbach..they are much more better batsmen

  • Nutcutlet on June 7, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    Let's keep Clarke's fitness in perspective. On a scale of 1 to 10, his absence from Saturday's CT match rates 3. His absence from any Ashes' Test (apart from dead rubber Tests) rates 10 (A dead rubber match would still rate 9, IMO). Of course I'd like England to retain the Ashes, I really hope they do, but - almost more than that - I want the highest class of cricket to be played, with all top players on both sides fully fit & available for selection. Beating an Oz side with a crocked capt is not my idea of a full-flavoured Test win against our oldest & most respected opponents. There is absolutely no contest of any ball sport anywhere between two nations that compares, or comes anywhere near, to an Ashes series, no matter how much money is larded thickly on more gaudy & tawdry competitions. There are some things that are way, way beyond money, esp. in sport & art. Money comes & goes; Ashes' feats will live on, for as long as humanity has the good sense not to destroy itself.

  • poms_have_short_memories on June 7, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Rest him until the tour games before the ashes start, because, besides Indians who really cares about limited overs cricket anyway?

  • GeoffreysMother on June 7, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    If three months rest and rehabilitation has not got him right for the opining match of the Champions Trophy her really has no chance of playing a 5 match test series. It will be a shame because Australia (and cricket) need a heroic batsman to inspire another generation, and English fans will miss the chance to see one of the rapidly diminishing store of truly great batsmen. More and more pressure seems to being put on some relatively inexperienced 'quicks' to do everything. Incidentally all the media fuss over Fawad Ahmed can hardly doing the confidence of Nathan Lyon much good.

  • on June 7, 2013, 7:26 GMT

    @Dean Frenkel. Agreed. That sentence by Kountouris is a contradiction in itself-playing him in "any games we can" is a stupid risk if you're trying to manage his degenerative back condition, esp when the ashes are on the horizon. If Kountouris or whoever decides if Clarke plays has any common sense they'll rest him till the ashes. It'll give Bailey valuable captaincy experience too.