Aus v NZ, Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston June 11, 2013

Clarke ruled out of New Zealand match

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia will again be without their captain Michael Clarke for Wednesday's Champions Trophy match against New Zealand as he continues to battle an ongoing back problem. Although Clarke is reported to have made good progress over the past few days, he has not been training and has been ruled out of the New Zealand game, having also missed Saturday's loss to England.

"Michael is continuing to have intensive treatment in London, and whilst he is making good progress, he has not improved sufficiently enough to play the game against New Zealand on Wednesday," Alex Kountouris, the team physio, said. "We will continue to monitor his progress and determine his availability for next week's final group game against Sri Lanka."

Clarke has been struggling with his back injury since the Australians arrived in England and did not take part in either of the Champions Trophy warm-up matches. The problem, which he has managed since he was a teenager, ruled him out of a Test for the first time on the tour of India in March, when he was forced to sit out of the final game in Delhi, and the Australians are wary of risking him ahead of the Ashes.

Australia's final group match at the Champions Trophy is against Sri Lanka at The Oval on Monday next week but there is a possibility that by then they will already have been effectively knocked out of the tournament. George Bailey, who captained Australia during the warm-ups and in the opening game against England, will again lead the side against New Zealand.

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  • BALA on June 13, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    Yes, i like AUSI ,TEAM under Steve and Ponti..Good strong and balanced team.They have good allrounders. Strong 7 batsman and 4 bowlers. in that 4 allrounders.. Good team.THINK wisely and go for the best players still have lot of chances...Good Luck to the Team

  • Dummy4 on June 12, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    @Mitcher and @ScottStevo: The top 3 is for all the formats together and if you bother to check the ICC rankings, you will see India in top 3 in all formats. About 8-0: India in australia last 2 tours =8-0, BUT australia in India last 3 tours also 8-0 in India's favor. Clearly nothing to boast about for you. And you lost at home both the ashes and to SA. In fact you didn't win a single test match in either of those series! So it is good to be tigers at home than be lambs everywhere. @Jagger: Sorry, I understand your frustration. Hodge should have been in the team long back. Usman Khawaja gets into the squad but hardly gets a game, while people like Maxwell get the baggy green. So where does the problem lie? You tell me.

  • sri on June 12, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    NZ has had the habit of shocking strong oppositions in big tournaments. They were underdogs those day but for today's game they look strong on paper. If clarke is not playing today no point in retaining him for the rest of tour.

    @Mitcher Whilst i agree that we are not the top test playing nation i feel Aus may soon beat our 0-8 record (with the back to back ashes). On current form I personally fear ENG in ENG more than SA in SA(Infact if kallis and steyn dont play that series I would back IND to win). With more T20 penetration I don't see Aus producing test cricketers as half the quality as that of mcgrath, ponting warne era. And the only way i see Aus winning the Ashes (in future) is when the opposition quality too goes down.

  • BALA on June 12, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    If u see the past history of clarke, whenever he knows that his team is going to lose sure he will sit away. If his team win continuosly even back ache r any injury sure he will play all the others...Then he will hand over the captaincy to watson.Watson is a good allrounder, if he cant bowl means sure he wll concentrate in batting, but he he ont allow him into the side. Many players are still waiting for the opertunity, he always say he also bown, but he never ever bown 10 overs must think about australias future.. MY FAV PLAYER STEVE WAUGH..AND GILLI

  • Mick on June 12, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    @Gautum: Any credibility you may have had (admittedly little anyway) was absolutely smashed out of the park when you indulged by mentioning India as a serious contender for top dog in world cricket. Granted Australia are struggling, but we're only halfway to India's mind-bogglingly inept 8-0 (set to be extended when they tour Sth Africa). Even 8 straight world cups couldn't paper over that Test record.

  • Anupam on June 12, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    @Posted by Jagger on (June 12, 2013, 5:04 GMT) Strongly agree with you- No doubt. Hodge, Marsh, Ferguson, etc are far far better player than below average Khawaja. Marsh & Ferguson are totally wasted by CA.

  • Richard on June 12, 2013, 5:04 GMT

    @ Gautam N. Shenoy - Brad Hodge, 6 Tests average 55.88. Khawaja, 6 Tests average 29.22. Ricky Ponting said If you average under 35 you should give up all hope of playing for Australia. But Khawaja will get a game due to the fact that Australia is trying to shed its "pale" persona, stopping just shy of South Africa's quota system. Soon International cricket will be represented by people of Indian and Pakistani origin only. The rest of us are getting so sick of people like yourself to care anymore. You can have it.

  • Dean on June 11, 2013, 22:41 GMT

    @Gautem N Shenoy, Thank you for adding the neutral perspective. I think you have hit the nail on the head. Aus fans like @Scottstevo have for so many yrs been fortunate enough to have a champion team who beat everyone else out of sight in both test & ODI cricket. Now those days are over they are finding it very difficult to come to terms with the fact that their team is no longer the best & is now decidedly ave.@ScottStevo you can say all you want about our personnel but right now we seem to be doing a bit better than yours which is good enough for me, particularly after all the beatings we used to take at the hands of your once mighty team.

  • Scott on June 11, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    @SirViv, same can be said of your team...or as in the way you guys talk up Dernbach and Woakes? What about your journeymen second spinner, weak middle order (without KP) an untested Root, Butler(THE most overhyped, one innings in 20 player) and Bairstow, plus a slow top order of nudgers & nurdlers? Let's face it, England aren't much to write home about in ODIs. As I've already said, I know the squad we've selected for this CT is rubbish as we've come into it light on specialist batsmen. As we did in India, as we've done for the Ashes. For some reason we seem hell bent on choosing a 6/7/8 who is handy for a few overs, not only in ltd overs cricket but in tests too. Sooner or later someone will actually realise that our batting is letting us down and maybe, just maybe we'll choose 6 specialist batsmen...