Australia v England, 2nd ODI, Hobart January 21, 2011

Clarke confident despite injury worries


Australia were given further injury headaches ahead of the World Cup after Nathan Hauritz suffered a dislocated shoulder and Shaun Tait limped out of the attack during the second one-day international against England at Hobart.

Hauritz's injury is the more serious of the two and he went straight to hospital after being helped off the outfield in clear pain following a dive to stop the ball. He will have further scans in the morning and is unlikely to take any further part in the one-day series so it could mean a hasty reprieve for Xavier Doherty, the left-arm spinner, who missed out on the World Cup squad.

Tait, meanwhile, went off five balls into his sixth over with a thigh strain that will be scanned on Saturday before any further decisions are made. The injuries add to the problems surrounding the Australia squad despite them now being 2-0 up against England after their 46-run victory. Mike Hussey is recovering from a serious hamstring injury which required surgery earlier this week and Ricky Ponting is yet to return from the broken finger he collected during the Ashes.

However, with the start of the tournament on the subcontinent still a month away Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, was hopeful that both Hauritz and Tait would be fit to take their place in the 15-man unit.

"We're confident that they'll both be alright for the World Cup," Clarke said. "It is a setback though because you want to keep playing as much cricket as you can and get as much form under your belt as possible. Anytime anyone gets injured it's a loss. They are disappointed personally, especially someone like Haury who has had to go back to first-class cricket where he's been playing really well.

"For this to happen now, I feel for him. Hopefully he'll be right for the World Cup - he'll play a big part in that."

Despite the injury blows this match continued Australia's upward curve since the end of the Ashes. They took a share of a closely fought Twenty20 series and have now taken a significant early advantage in this seven-match contest, despite twice being in trouble with the bat on 4 for 33 and 8 for 142.

They were led to a defendable total by Shaun Marsh's 110 in his first innings as cover for Hussey, having been left out of the World Cup squad. He added an Australian-record 88 for the ninth wicket with renowned tail-end rabbit Doug Bollinger, who then made up for the late absence of Hauritz and Tait with 4 for 28.

Given the batting woes the hosts have suffered this season Marsh can consider himself unfortunate not be a regular selection. "It shows we've got a lot of talent," Clarke said. "What's most pleasing for me is when you see someone come in like Shaun and get hold of his opportunity. That continues to show the depth in first-class cricket in Australia.

"I know that's been questioned this summer but I have 100 per cent belief that there is a lot of talent and good players out there. They're just looking for an opportunity and Shaun showed that tonight. We gave him his chance and he's grabbed it with both hands. He continues to do it at the international level," Clarke added. "He's performed opening the batting for Australia and he's had success down the bottom of the order.

"He's come into this game in good form, scoring runs for Western Australia and it's as good an innings as I've seen, under pressure and losing wickets around him. He really stood up today."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on January 23, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    @gogoldengreens - agreed (apart from the fact he doesn't play 1st class cricket - LOL)!!!! @5wombats - the Poms were just lucky during the Ashes, its just obvious now!!! @Paul Martin - re: White, maybe you're right but I'd say a bloke who's 1st class stats are just above 40 despite dining out on some crap county bowling in England IS NOT world class! @ jonesy2 - Hauritz would not of been the difference in 3 innings losses. That's the sad facts. He would of bowled better than Doherty & Beer - & probably batted better too. The difference was Ponting & Clarke under perfromed. (The question is were they out form or did the Poms make them under perform?).

  • Basil on January 22, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Seriously, why is captain Milo Vodafone Weetbix kid an automatic selection in the ODI team? Not only isn't be suited to it but there are better batsmen then him missing out. If Australia pick there best ODI players they will win the world cup. We are compromising our team by having Clarke, D Hussey, Smith, and Johnson taking the spots of guys in better form. Why? What is wrong with you Mr Hilditch. Aussie team for SCG game should (but won't ) be 1 Watson 2 Haddin 3 Hodge 4 White 5 Marsh 6 Ferguson 7 Christian 8 OKeefe 9 Hastngs 10 Lee 11 Bollinger. This team bats deep, doesn't get bogged down, bowls well, and most importantly ALL ARE IN FORM and are good ODI players.

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 2:42 GMT

    Isnt it funny how a player outside the wc squad comes in and makes runs well not really hes been in good form for a while now he should be in the wc Squad Marsh and Fergason were both part of the ODI team not so long ago, Im still thinking D Hussey should not be in the current squad or the wc squad nor steve smith on current form its hard to see what the selectors were doing with Haurits he looks as good as he ever did and hes doiing more that Doherty heres hoping that Mike Hussey comes back strong hes needed in this team as for clarke Tait and Co (Smith aswell) out of form they need as much game time to work the form slump out like Hussey did with the tests Just hope that all the injured players come up if not its going to be hard to see this team get sumthing together and win the Wc

  • Dummy4 on January 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT

    Yes well i have been calling for the right selections before this summer even started. Marsh is one of those old skool cricketers with a bit of toughness about him, he reminds me alot of his dad just with more talent and skill. Hauritz also showed that he still is our best spinner, not the greatest spinner going around but he is our best spinner. Steven Smith is not ready for international cricket, people have hyped him up to be this star player and he still may be in the future but right now, neither his batting or bowling is good enough to be in this side in tests or one dayers.

  • kieran on January 21, 2011, 23:33 GMT

    Well it looks like Marsh has cemented his spot at the expense of poor Huss who will surely not be able to recover in time for the WC. And all Aus supporters should get ready, because there is no way Lee & Tait will get through the tournament without injury.

  • Myer on January 21, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    certainly the Australian selectors are responsible for the down fall of Australian cricket. It's unbelievable and quit shocking that Mash is not part of the world cup squared. He is good enough to hit a 110 here but not good enough for the bigger scene. Base on his perform for Australia, his place on the one day squared should have already been cemented.

  • Craig on January 21, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    Steve Smith has got to be the most overrated player I have ever seen in my life.

  • Luke on January 21, 2011, 22:22 GMT

    It's just unfortunate that there are so many failures in one innings but you must remember we have been spoiled in the past and those players aren't easily replaced. If we do have the best domestic comp in the world why aren't we picking those players who are successful and allow the international players who are struggling to find their feet again in domestic cricket. If they are truly world class players they should dominate like Marsh, Hauritz, Finch, Paine, Hogan and Hodge are at the moment.

  • Ashok on January 21, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    If Clarke really thinks Shaun is a great Talent then why not step away from the WC squad and give him the chance..The two Match winners for Australia were Dougie and Shaun. one does not find a place in the WC squad?? when guys like Smith get in there.. Smith is a completely overrated cricketer... Clarke needs to step down for all his recent failures and lack of form.. Give AUS a chance of defending the championship atleast Shaun in place ofr Smith.Between Hauritz and Doherty it hardly makes a diff.. they are same..If there is a chance bring Symonds back.. He will be a brutal batsman and a handy bowler in India conditions..Where is james hopes??? a handy cricketer..Hilfenhaus was great Indian series recently.. he can replace Tait or Hastings..Australia need cricketers to run their show if they need to get back to where they were. Hayden, Mcgrath and Warney its time you give back what you got from your country.make Aus the same threat they were.. I love AUS..cant see them struggle...

  • Vikram on January 21, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    Michael Clarke, there is definitely a lot of talent out there... just that you are taking away one such spot just because you were appointed captain by a equally shoddy selector.

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