Australia in India 2013-14 September 20, 2013

Clarke likely to miss India tour

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Australia's captain Michael Clarke is expected to be ruled out of the forthcoming limited-overs tour to India due to his chronic back troubles. Clarke was named subject to fitness in the 14-man squad to play seven ODIs after he complained of soreness and restricted movement during the closing stages of the long England tour.

However medical staff and the national selectors are conscious of ensuring Clarke is as fit as possible for the Ashes home series to follow, and ESPNcricinfo understands he is likely to be prescribed a period of rest following his exertions in England. This would be a similar outcome to that which followed the end of the India Test tour in March, when Clarke missed the final match of the series.

At the time, Clarke stated he would let the "experts" decide on his fitness for the IPL that followed soon after, and he was duly ruled out of his duties for Pune in the Twenty20 tournament. Clarke spoke in distinctly similar terms when assessing his chances of making the India ODI tour this time around.

"For me right now it's about getting on the phone to Alex Kountouris, the Australian physio, and communicating with him as I have been over the last couple of weeks since he's been back in Australia and we'll make a plan from there," Clarke said. "No doubt it's quite stiff and sore but I'll be guided by the experts on what I need to do now to try and get myself as fit as I can be."

Clarke played the final match of the England ODI series as he successfully sought a winning end to a difficult tour for him and his team. Darren Lehmann, the Australia coach, said that Clarke had insisted on playing at Southampton despite his discomfort, but would be placed in the hands of medical staff to judge his ability to make the India trip.

In Clarke's absence, George Bailey would then lead the team through the series in addition to the opening T20 fixture, while possible replacement batsmen include Callum Ferguson and Nic Maddinson. David Warner is not thought to be in contention for an immediate ODI recall.

Staying at home would allow Clarke the chance to recover fully from his present ailment while also offering extra time to prepare for the Ashes Tests at home, a series that he will be under significant pressure to win having gathered intelligence and confidence against England in the latter stages of the Tests in the northern hemisphere. He may also have the chance to take part in more Sheffield Shield matches prior to the first Test at the Gabba.

The back condition that has affected Clarke at numerous junctures across his career is not entirely linked to fatigue, as shown when it reared soon after his arrival in England earlier this year, ruling him out of the Champions Trophy. However regular rest over time may allow his career to go on further than it might if he maintains a diet of constant cricket.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Reverend-Cavalier on September 20, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Australia need Clarke fit and firing. He is a class act with the bat and has tactical nouse of the highest order in his approach to Captaincy and how to play the game. I don't think I've seen anyone hit the ball better than when he scored his triple against India. We need big runs from Clarke in the Ashes.

  • kjambur on September 26, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Ha ha. India continues to be a pain in the back for Clarke. eh?

  • AKS286 on September 22, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    A bad news for indians they want players like Clarke. Indians scores big totals & has the capacity to chase down big totals in limited over cricket; As I mentioned before CT'13 the batting avg & S/R are awesome till no.6 batting line up. Now Clarke who scores very rarely a century and with a mediocre S/R of mid 70s are ideal combinations to score or chase 230-240. So indians wants batsmen like this. Finch, Marsh, Watto, Bailey, Voges, Haddin, Moises, Johnson, Mckay, Beer, Doherty

  • Shaggy076 on September 22, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Landl47.; I can't understand your logic, Clarke is a great player but Australia have enough power hitters to compete in one day cricket in India. The shorter form is an obsessionin India the pitches will be flat as this is now more about entertainment. A couple of batsman come off against a military attack and Australia can easily win with or without Clarke.

  • landl47 on September 22, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    @Jono Makim: Really? How did Australia get on in the Champions Trophy without Clarke? And that was in English conditions and they didn't even play India, who won the trophy. Aus had just come off a 4-0 whitewash by India in the test series and that was with Clarke for 3 of the games.

    George Bailey is a good captain and a decent player. Michael Clarke he isn't. Even with Clarke, as well as Bailey, Australia would have struggled to be competitive. Without Clarke, if they win one game I think they'll have done well.

  • on September 21, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @Landl47, I think you are selling Bailey well short if you don't think he is capable of filling Clarke's shoes in white ball cricket. He has an exceptional record to date and is only going to get better, I reckon.

    I think and hope Maxi will come in at 6 or 7 in this series and I'm hoping for some major power hitting from him, let the big show begin!

  • 1st_april on September 21, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    @Chris_P Watson and Haddin are important cogs in their batting machine.....Hughes might travel to India too , albeit he never plays more than 2 tests in an Ashes....the friable fitness of their fast bowlers doesn't allow them to play limited overs...already Cummins , Starc are out....from that facet , they are taking the possible best of the test :-P

  • siri12345 on September 21, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    its another series where india will take it damn seriously and opposition doesnot care type of series.i wander how many such type of series india has played in last 4 -5 years.barring the 2011 worldcup i cannot remember a single series which india has won where the opposition has taken the series seriously.i can give examples to support my fact.when india went eng and aus to play the all imp test series the result indicates everything.then eng and pak came ind and took their respecvtive series very importantly and thus the result in their favour.on the other hand ind managed to beat eng in the odi series which eng didnt give a damn about.the same occured in champions trophy.they caught eng preparing for ashes trophy and thus inspite of being the weaker team out of two india managed victorious as suddenly eng realised that winning the champions trophy will not take them any where in terms of ashes preparation so the two careless shots from ravi and morgan when eng were just cruisin

  • popcorn on September 21, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Good idea to rest Clarke.We need him fit for The Ashes. Better idea to rest Watson,Bailey,Johnson,Haddin - we need these five to play more Sheffield Shield 4 day games than meaningless ODIs on slow Indian pitches.Let's send an Australia A Team to India to get International Cricket practice.Maybe a star will emerge for the World Cup.

  • OneEyedAussie on September 20, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    Good move. Ferguson or White can do a close enough job with the bat in Clarke's stead.

  • Reverend-Cavalier on September 20, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    Australia need Clarke fit and firing. He is a class act with the bat and has tactical nouse of the highest order in his approach to Captaincy and how to play the game. I don't think I've seen anyone hit the ball better than when he scored his triple against India. We need big runs from Clarke in the Ashes.

  • kjambur on September 26, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Ha ha. India continues to be a pain in the back for Clarke. eh?

  • AKS286 on September 22, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    A bad news for indians they want players like Clarke. Indians scores big totals & has the capacity to chase down big totals in limited over cricket; As I mentioned before CT'13 the batting avg & S/R are awesome till no.6 batting line up. Now Clarke who scores very rarely a century and with a mediocre S/R of mid 70s are ideal combinations to score or chase 230-240. So indians wants batsmen like this. Finch, Marsh, Watto, Bailey, Voges, Haddin, Moises, Johnson, Mckay, Beer, Doherty

  • Shaggy076 on September 22, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    Landl47.; I can't understand your logic, Clarke is a great player but Australia have enough power hitters to compete in one day cricket in India. The shorter form is an obsessionin India the pitches will be flat as this is now more about entertainment. A couple of batsman come off against a military attack and Australia can easily win with or without Clarke.

  • landl47 on September 22, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    @Jono Makim: Really? How did Australia get on in the Champions Trophy without Clarke? And that was in English conditions and they didn't even play India, who won the trophy. Aus had just come off a 4-0 whitewash by India in the test series and that was with Clarke for 3 of the games.

    George Bailey is a good captain and a decent player. Michael Clarke he isn't. Even with Clarke, as well as Bailey, Australia would have struggled to be competitive. Without Clarke, if they win one game I think they'll have done well.

  • on September 21, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    @Landl47, I think you are selling Bailey well short if you don't think he is capable of filling Clarke's shoes in white ball cricket. He has an exceptional record to date and is only going to get better, I reckon.

    I think and hope Maxi will come in at 6 or 7 in this series and I'm hoping for some major power hitting from him, let the big show begin!

  • 1st_april on September 21, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    @Chris_P Watson and Haddin are important cogs in their batting machine.....Hughes might travel to India too , albeit he never plays more than 2 tests in an Ashes....the friable fitness of their fast bowlers doesn't allow them to play limited overs...already Cummins , Starc are out....from that facet , they are taking the possible best of the test :-P

  • siri12345 on September 21, 2013, 2:13 GMT

    its another series where india will take it damn seriously and opposition doesnot care type of series.i wander how many such type of series india has played in last 4 -5 years.barring the 2011 worldcup i cannot remember a single series which india has won where the opposition has taken the series seriously.i can give examples to support my fact.when india went eng and aus to play the all imp test series the result indicates everything.then eng and pak came ind and took their respecvtive series very importantly and thus the result in their favour.on the other hand ind managed to beat eng in the odi series which eng didnt give a damn about.the same occured in champions trophy.they caught eng preparing for ashes trophy and thus inspite of being the weaker team out of two india managed victorious as suddenly eng realised that winning the champions trophy will not take them any where in terms of ashes preparation so the two careless shots from ravi and morgan when eng were just cruisin

  • popcorn on September 21, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Good idea to rest Clarke.We need him fit for The Ashes. Better idea to rest Watson,Bailey,Johnson,Haddin - we need these five to play more Sheffield Shield 4 day games than meaningless ODIs on slow Indian pitches.Let's send an Australia A Team to India to get International Cricket practice.Maybe a star will emerge for the World Cup.

  • OneEyedAussie on September 20, 2013, 23:12 GMT

    Good move. Ferguson or White can do a close enough job with the bat in Clarke's stead.

  • landl47 on September 20, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    If Clarke isn't fit, he shouldn't play, but let's be honest, it kills the series. Clarke is not only the captain, he's one of only two world class batsmen Australia has in the ODI format (the other is Watson). In the 2 games Aus won in England he scored 105 and 75. Without him Aus would have lost every game and I'm afraid that's what will happen in India.

    I hope the rest will pull together and make a fight of it, but this isn't a great Australian squad and without Clarke they aren't even good.

  • Chris_P on September 20, 2013, 21:16 GMT

    @1st_april. They did look at it, it's why only Watson & Haddin are the only 2 probable test players selected. Better for Clarke to rest for the real cricket games.

  • Thefakebook on September 20, 2013, 20:40 GMT

    Clare should rest and if guys like Joe Burns,Lynn,Turner,agar do well get the young lads in the squad too.Bailey will probably lead the team & I think its not a bad idea.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on September 20, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    thats good for India and Aus too. He is a player who play spin very well, so one tough opponent out of way. Good for Aus, because he needs to be fully rested before return Ashes. But even without Clark, India should feel secure on its own peril. There is a guy named Watson, who as a test player may not get in Zim, but as a limited overs player will be first in any WorldXI. Yep I call him Great in ODI and T20. He can take game away within 2-5 overs. And Baily will get 7 games to show that he can grind it out. Few spots are vacant in Ashes line up...

  • PrasPunter on September 20, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    best thing to happen to us. Let clarke be fit and firing come November.

  • 1st_april on September 20, 2013, 17:20 GMT

    Aussies really need to look at their itinerary , playing 7 Odis in subcontinent before a 5 test series in Australia....vast difference between the disgraceful turners and flatter Australian tracks....

  • siddhartha87 on September 20, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    Should be a good series. Australia should win it 4-3 or 5-2

  • IndianSRTfan on September 20, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    @Posted by anton1234 on (September 20, 2013, 10:42 GMT): India are current World Cup Champions and we have just won Champions Trophy, in England, in case you didn't notice. India is also the number one ranked ODI team. So we don't need anything else to make us "seem better" than we are.

    A Ind-Aus series is always a good proposition. However, I feel the timing of the series is not good for Aussies. They should be heading home and preparing for return Ashes. I think in Eng they showed some real sparks and 3-0 could easily have been 2-2 or 2-1 for them. Also 7 ODIS?? that's overkill. Max. 5 ODIs should be allowed really.

    @Posted by Windywiper on (September 20, 2013, 11:08 GMT): Well said Sir! I agree Cricket is enjoyable because of the different skills required to succeed in different conditions.

  • IndianSRTfan on September 20, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    @Posted by Int.Curator on (September 20, 2013, 11:48 GMT): "...Compare that to a country that still cannot prepare a first class cricket pitch and expect professional cricket players to compete." Can you elaborate on that please? Where and when did that happen? I'm sorry but that's a little vague.

    As to "Why doesn't cricket have specifications for pitch quality assurance?". They do have that. There's a ICC match referee who along with umpires decides if the pitch for an international match is of required quality.

    Pitches that do not suit your team's traditional strength are not under-prepared. they are just different. Learning to play on them is the way to go.

    Lastly, "I imagine ODI's in India are quite lucrative for CA and more so for BCCI." Wrong. They are more lucrative to CA. That's why they are letting their players play "a meaningless 7 ODI bilateral series" before "the all important return ASHES". CA cares more about revenue too, not just BCCI.

  • stumpedlloyd on September 20, 2013, 14:40 GMT

    Very good idea resting Clarke. He needs to be fit for The Ashes, Part Deux. In fact, if I were the Aussie selectors, I'd hold back Watson and Haddin, too; let them play Sheffield cricket, instead. This ODI series with India is entirely meaningless and Australia would be much better off sending some fringe players to get some tour experience and practice, and allowing Ashes contenders to either rest or get some much-needed four-day cricket under their belts. I don't think CA or Aussie fans are going to get bent out of shape if Australia loses the ODI series in India 7-0, 6-1 or whatever the margin.

  • on September 20, 2013, 14:23 GMT

    @ Rehan - Last year India's overseas assignment was more than home. That time no one questioned why India always play abroad? BCCI gives India 2 overseas series and 2 home series every year for India. Can you justify my comments? All teams in the world play more matches at home as well.

    2011 - world cup at home, England tour, WI at home, Australia tour at end 2012 - Aus tour test and ODIs, Asia cup at BAN, PAK at home, SL tour, ICC T20 world cup 2013 - Aus at home tests, Champions Trophy in ENG, Aus at home ODI's, SA tour

  • on September 20, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    Why india always plays at home?????

  • on September 20, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    Basically, the ashes are more important than an odi tour to India. Simple really.

  • Int.Curator on September 20, 2013, 11:48 GMT

    Do you think Clarke cares?

    I imagine ODI's in India are quite lucrative for CA and more so for BCCI.

    Otherwise what is the attraction for players?

    The England tour had its minor DRS issues to address and pitches prepared for English bowlers but inconsequential due to the quality of preparation.

    Compare that to a country that still cannot prepare a first class cricket pitch and expect professional cricket players to compete.

    Especially teams that have just spent 3 months training for playing in English conditions on well prepared pitches.

    Why doesn't cricket have specifications for pitch quality assurance?

  • Windywiper on September 20, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    @anton1234 restrict a team to 1 spin bowler each? so all the teams around the world are mirror images? I think the beauty of world cricket is the vastly different team makeups. I'm an Aussie supporter but I would hate to see that and playing on the sub-continent would be nowhere near the challenge and battle to win it is now. The "good" old days of the aussies winning everything is over and I like watching cricket more than ever because it's more enjoyable when we win.

  • anton1234 on September 20, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    7 meaningless ODIs against a transitional Australia side to make India look good. This is why India plays so much at home i.e. to make Indiamseem better than they are. Personally, I would restrict the ODI game to one spinner per team so only 10 overs max f spin can be bowled. Too much spin ruins the image of cricket as its gives the impression of being soft. And there should be a max of 3 ODIs at any one time unless its a triangular event.

    Manipulate the World Cup format each time to make sure India reaches at least the latter stages. What's the point of the ICC when it is in reality the BCCI?

  • on September 20, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Its a very sad news Clarke isn't playing. I am sure Indians would be dancing at this news. However, its more important for Clarke to be fit for Ashes. I am sure it would have been a very difficult decision for CA to rule him out of Indian tour, but then again, Ashes always has an upper hand on any other series. Good Luck Clarke.

  • subnys on September 20, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Clarke needs rest, so does Australia. It would have been better if the team was left on its own to sort out what went wrong.I don't see any suitable replacement to Clarke and that'll add more to the already overflowing cup of woes. I wish best luck to Oz to select a replacement.

  • on September 20, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Why india keeps on playing at home? Can anyone answer that?

  • on September 20, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Clarkey won't be missed in India.His performances are not in the same league as Hayden or Waugh.CA would benefit by blooding other players

  • Charlie101 on September 20, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    I guess any aussie player without an IPL contract is desperate to go on this tour to make a case for themselves but you have to question CA 's decision to agree on another tour so close to the Ashes.

  • AMMAR3438668158 on September 20, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    i think Clarke take rest and not playing in India tour & fit for next ashes in Australia.P.Hughes has an oppournity to take part in top order batting.

  • JoieDeVivre on September 20, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Correct decision, even if he is 95% fit, he should prepare for the important return leg of The Ashes and I think he has earned the distinction of being wrapped in a cotton wool. While I'm a big fan of ODIs too this one in particular doesn't make any sense except financially of course and the dates of these ODIs is far from Ideal. While Indian fans like myself will miss watching Michael Clarke's batting and his captaincy, I would much rather see him fully fit for a such an important Ashes series.

  • kartcric on September 20, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    Australia are very conscious about Clarke's fitness.That's because they know that they will surely lose the home ashes without him.He has been a lone warrior for a long time

  • on September 20, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Is a strange "coincidence" that Australia's tours of India always seem to be just before we play England... Everyone, barring Wade, not picked for this tour should be happy. Clarke and Watson, really shouldn't be playing OD cricket, overseas, just before a home Ashes series. Faulkner, Hughes and Johnson are all strong candidates for the first XI at the Gabba but wont be helping their potential selection by not playing First class/ club cricket, in Australia, before the Ashes. Coulter-Nile, McKay and possibly Bailey too, would have been possible picks for the Ashes too. But, being selected for this tour would have ended their chances. While getting selected for Australia, even for ODI's, is an honour, I wouldn't be surprised if multiple players "aren't fit" for this tour and stay in Australia and play Sheffield Shield instead

  • elmo_leon on September 20, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Good news. Give this guy a proper rest.

  • elmo_leon on September 20, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Good news. Give this guy a proper rest.

  • on September 20, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Is a strange "coincidence" that Australia's tours of India always seem to be just before we play England... Everyone, barring Wade, not picked for this tour should be happy. Clarke and Watson, really shouldn't be playing OD cricket, overseas, just before a home Ashes series. Faulkner, Hughes and Johnson are all strong candidates for the first XI at the Gabba but wont be helping their potential selection by not playing First class/ club cricket, in Australia, before the Ashes. Coulter-Nile, McKay and possibly Bailey too, would have been possible picks for the Ashes too. But, being selected for this tour would have ended their chances. While getting selected for Australia, even for ODI's, is an honour, I wouldn't be surprised if multiple players "aren't fit" for this tour and stay in Australia and play Sheffield Shield instead

  • kartcric on September 20, 2013, 6:27 GMT

    Australia are very conscious about Clarke's fitness.That's because they know that they will surely lose the home ashes without him.He has been a lone warrior for a long time

  • JoieDeVivre on September 20, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Correct decision, even if he is 95% fit, he should prepare for the important return leg of The Ashes and I think he has earned the distinction of being wrapped in a cotton wool. While I'm a big fan of ODIs too this one in particular doesn't make any sense except financially of course and the dates of these ODIs is far from Ideal. While Indian fans like myself will miss watching Michael Clarke's batting and his captaincy, I would much rather see him fully fit for a such an important Ashes series.

  • AMMAR3438668158 on September 20, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    i think Clarke take rest and not playing in India tour & fit for next ashes in Australia.P.Hughes has an oppournity to take part in top order batting.

  • Charlie101 on September 20, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    I guess any aussie player without an IPL contract is desperate to go on this tour to make a case for themselves but you have to question CA 's decision to agree on another tour so close to the Ashes.

  • on September 20, 2013, 7:49 GMT

    Clarkey won't be missed in India.His performances are not in the same league as Hayden or Waugh.CA would benefit by blooding other players

  • on September 20, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Why india keeps on playing at home? Can anyone answer that?

  • subnys on September 20, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Clarke needs rest, so does Australia. It would have been better if the team was left on its own to sort out what went wrong.I don't see any suitable replacement to Clarke and that'll add more to the already overflowing cup of woes. I wish best luck to Oz to select a replacement.

  • on September 20, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Its a very sad news Clarke isn't playing. I am sure Indians would be dancing at this news. However, its more important for Clarke to be fit for Ashes. I am sure it would have been a very difficult decision for CA to rule him out of Indian tour, but then again, Ashes always has an upper hand on any other series. Good Luck Clarke.