Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 August 22, 2014

Clarke in doubt for ODI opener

ESPNcricinfo staff
  shares 25

Australia are likely to be without captain Michael Clarke for their first ODI against Zimbabwe after he suffered a hamstring injury at training in Harare on Friday.

Clarke experienced pain in his left hamstring while warming up for the team's first practice session ahead of the tri-series and after having treatment in the dressing room, he took no further part in training.

Australia's first match is against Zimbabwe on Monday, leaving Clarke little time to recover if he was to take his place in the side. Vice-captain George Bailey will lead the side if Clarke is ruled out.

"We will monitor his condition closely over the next 24 hours to see how he responds to further treatment before making a decision on his management," David Beakley, the team physiotherapist, said.

Australia's heavy schedule over the next few months means they would appear unlikely to take any risks with Clarke. It could also guarantee a place in the side for Phillip Hughes, who was a late inclusion in the squad as a replacement for the injured Shane Watson.

Hughes enters the series in remarkable form after scoring a pair of double-centuries against South Africa A, but coach Darren Lehmann said before the team departed that he was no certainty to be part of the XI for the first match.

However, if Clarke misses out, Australia's selectors would have to bring in Hughes due to the dearth of batsmen in the squad. Without Clarke, Australia's batting line-up in Zimbabwe comprises Hughes, Aaron Finch, Bailey, Steven Smith, wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin and allrounders Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Swan_Draught on | August 24, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    This is the XI I would go with 1.Finch 2.Hughes 3.M.Marsh 4.G.Bailey* 5.S.Smith 6.G.Maxwell 7.B.Haddin 8.M.Johnson 9.M.Starc 10.K.Richardson 11.N.Lyon

    I think of the left over players Marsh is the one most capable of batting at 3 (the idea of Haddin opening is a ridiculous failed experiment). It will also be a good experience for him. I don't see a play for Faulkner in a full strength attack

  • POSTED BY KiwiCricketFan on | August 24, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    @siddhartha87 you make a very good point about nz's bowling. Probably one of the best odi bowling lineups in the world and the area where we trump the aussies. Hope nz can live up to potential for this WC. Aussie selectors please pick Hughes, what more has he got to do to get a place, surely him either opening or 3 with warner wherever hughes isn't.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Australian selectors take a note of this injury to Clark and make alternate arrangements so that heavy upcoming schedule can be coped up , it is well known that Clark is injury prone from now then on an extra all rounder can be included in the squad so that this type situation can easily resolved

  • POSTED BY DragonCricketer on | August 23, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Clarke is very injury prone. At least it's not his back. Obviously, Hughes will now captain the side.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | August 23, 2014, 15:48 GMT

    Purely on the base of batting depth I think Australia ,India and New Zeland have the best line ups for wc 15. I know India have been blasted by England and we will probably lose to Australia by 0-4 in tests too but when it comes to 50 overs match these 3 are clearly favourites. I will not be surprised if Kiwis end up winning wc 15 as their bowling line up is better than Australia and India in limited overs.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    Without Clarke Possible starting XI would be

    1)Aron Finch 2)David Warner 3)Phil Hughes 4)George Bailey (C) 5)Steve Smith 6)Glenn Maxwell 7)Brad Haddin(WK) 8)Mitchell Marsh 9)Mitchell Johnson 10)Mitchell Starc 11)Nathan Lyon

  • POSTED BY onlinegamer55 on | August 23, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    @landl47, @xtrafalgarx You both make very good points and I agree with them. I completely forgot about Maxwell's IPL heroics and his stats in one day international and T20 international cricket which definitely make him worthy of a spot in the lineup as he can change games quickly, like xtrafalgarx says.

    I do think Hughes should be selected over Smith. I think the selectors were influenced by Smith's test form but still, he hasn't got a one day century at even the domestic level. Also, it was unfair to pick Smith over Hughes, as Hughes had far better one day performances of late.

    I also think Hughes should be in the top 3, maybe at 3? He's done quite well there on a few occasions and seems able to adapt. I just think we should pick and stick rather than shuffle around so much, especially as Hughes is in such a purple patch at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Prathap94 on | August 23, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    There is no Doubts. Australia Bating Order : 1. Phil Hughes, 2. Finch, 3. Clarke, 4. Baily, 5. Smith, 6. Maxwell, 7. Haddin, 8. Faulkner, 9. Johnson, 10. Starc, 11. Lyon

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | August 23, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    @Dunger.bob: I hope you are right. I guess this squad makes sense if you look at it that way. That they already have a good Idea who is in the best XI and they are just trying to find out who is the next best.

    @Online.gamer: Hughes can only make it into the oneday side as a top 3 player. Warner is a lock, Watson is a lock and it was an open slot before Finch came. Hughes looked to have landed it, but selectors opted for Finch as he is an impact player. Maxwell will make it into the XI every time because he is a gun fielder, can roll the arm over and has the potential to change a game off his own bat.

    The guy im surprised about it Smith. For all the talk of him being suited to one day cricket, his stats don't read all that well at all. I'd pick Hughes over him in ODI's any day.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 23, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    @onlinegamer55: the trouble with your line-up is that it relies absolutely on Watson being able to bowl 10 overs and none of the specialist bowlers having a bad day. That's too big a risk in the WC. Replace one of the batsmen with an all-rounder and you have a good side.

    I think Australia go in as clear favourites. The conditions are great for their power hitters, it's at a good time in the Australian season and as xtrafalgarx says there are so many Australians who can do the job that it's hard to know what the best team is. The only side I think can even give them a game is South Africa and SA doesn't have the depth of players that Australia has.

  • POSTED BY Swan_Draught on | August 24, 2014, 3:53 GMT

    This is the XI I would go with 1.Finch 2.Hughes 3.M.Marsh 4.G.Bailey* 5.S.Smith 6.G.Maxwell 7.B.Haddin 8.M.Johnson 9.M.Starc 10.K.Richardson 11.N.Lyon

    I think of the left over players Marsh is the one most capable of batting at 3 (the idea of Haddin opening is a ridiculous failed experiment). It will also be a good experience for him. I don't see a play for Faulkner in a full strength attack

  • POSTED BY KiwiCricketFan on | August 24, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    @siddhartha87 you make a very good point about nz's bowling. Probably one of the best odi bowling lineups in the world and the area where we trump the aussies. Hope nz can live up to potential for this WC. Aussie selectors please pick Hughes, what more has he got to do to get a place, surely him either opening or 3 with warner wherever hughes isn't.

  • POSTED BY on | August 23, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    Australian selectors take a note of this injury to Clark and make alternate arrangements so that heavy upcoming schedule can be coped up , it is well known that Clark is injury prone from now then on an extra all rounder can be included in the squad so that this type situation can easily resolved

  • POSTED BY DragonCricketer on | August 23, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Clarke is very injury prone. At least it's not his back. Obviously, Hughes will now captain the side.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | August 23, 2014, 15:48 GMT

    Purely on the base of batting depth I think Australia ,India and New Zeland have the best line ups for wc 15. I know India have been blasted by England and we will probably lose to Australia by 0-4 in tests too but when it comes to 50 overs match these 3 are clearly favourites. I will not be surprised if Kiwis end up winning wc 15 as their bowling line up is better than Australia and India in limited overs.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2014, 15:22 GMT

    Without Clarke Possible starting XI would be

    1)Aron Finch 2)David Warner 3)Phil Hughes 4)George Bailey (C) 5)Steve Smith 6)Glenn Maxwell 7)Brad Haddin(WK) 8)Mitchell Marsh 9)Mitchell Johnson 10)Mitchell Starc 11)Nathan Lyon

  • POSTED BY onlinegamer55 on | August 23, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    @landl47, @xtrafalgarx You both make very good points and I agree with them. I completely forgot about Maxwell's IPL heroics and his stats in one day international and T20 international cricket which definitely make him worthy of a spot in the lineup as he can change games quickly, like xtrafalgarx says.

    I do think Hughes should be selected over Smith. I think the selectors were influenced by Smith's test form but still, he hasn't got a one day century at even the domestic level. Also, it was unfair to pick Smith over Hughes, as Hughes had far better one day performances of late.

    I also think Hughes should be in the top 3, maybe at 3? He's done quite well there on a few occasions and seems able to adapt. I just think we should pick and stick rather than shuffle around so much, especially as Hughes is in such a purple patch at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Prathap94 on | August 23, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    There is no Doubts. Australia Bating Order : 1. Phil Hughes, 2. Finch, 3. Clarke, 4. Baily, 5. Smith, 6. Maxwell, 7. Haddin, 8. Faulkner, 9. Johnson, 10. Starc, 11. Lyon

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | August 23, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    @Dunger.bob: I hope you are right. I guess this squad makes sense if you look at it that way. That they already have a good Idea who is in the best XI and they are just trying to find out who is the next best.

    @Online.gamer: Hughes can only make it into the oneday side as a top 3 player. Warner is a lock, Watson is a lock and it was an open slot before Finch came. Hughes looked to have landed it, but selectors opted for Finch as he is an impact player. Maxwell will make it into the XI every time because he is a gun fielder, can roll the arm over and has the potential to change a game off his own bat.

    The guy im surprised about it Smith. For all the talk of him being suited to one day cricket, his stats don't read all that well at all. I'd pick Hughes over him in ODI's any day.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 23, 2014, 13:24 GMT

    @onlinegamer55: the trouble with your line-up is that it relies absolutely on Watson being able to bowl 10 overs and none of the specialist bowlers having a bad day. That's too big a risk in the WC. Replace one of the batsmen with an all-rounder and you have a good side.

    I think Australia go in as clear favourites. The conditions are great for their power hitters, it's at a good time in the Australian season and as xtrafalgarx says there are so many Australians who can do the job that it's hard to know what the best team is. The only side I think can even give them a game is South Africa and SA doesn't have the depth of players that Australia has.

  • POSTED BY rickyvoncanterbury on | August 23, 2014, 11:41 GMT

    @ mate I don't think anyone has the foggiest of what our best team is, one day our best team is Finch Warner and Clarke all rounder Maxwell Bowler Mckay, next game our best team is Hughes, Clarke, Haddin all rounder Faulkner, bowler, Bird. throw in Johnson, Bailey, Haddin Cutting, Starc, Mckay, etc etc, just goes to show the difference between revenue games and test matches, Imagine that choice in test standard players.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | August 23, 2014, 10:40 GMT

    I think there's a very good chance you'd need wild horses to keep Clarke away from the WC next year. I don't know how much he cares about his legacy and all that stuff, but surely he'd love to have the WC on his mantle piece. .. I'd say he'll try like hell to take part in that then consider his options once it's over.

    With this warm-up tourny, I'd be surprised if Boof is happy about the injuries but all it really does is force the changes he would have made at some point anyway. Maybe not these particular players, at this particular time, but he would have tried to give everyone a run imo.

    @ x: I not sure these warmups will be experiment free zones. This is what I reckon. They already have a firm idea what their strongest team is but they want to use some of the lead up time to make sure of it. That could mean a bit of chopping and changing among the fringe players such as Cutting and Richardson. Maxi, Marsh jnr. and Faulkner will be in a shootout for the 2nd a/r spot.

  • POSTED BY onlinegamer55 on | August 23, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    @hyclass I honestly wish you were on the national selection panel - I feel we would then have the right players in the team, rather than the excessive experimentation of the current panel with people like Marsh, Cowan, Doolan, who average in the 30's in first class cricket, and have shown exactly the same in test cricket (Doolan still hasn't been given a fair run, but I fear he will be similar to Cowan and Marsh).

  • POSTED BY onlinegamer55 on | August 23, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    I think having the batting order of Finch, Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Haddin is ideal for the world cup. Steve Smith hasn't got the proven one day record of Hughes at either the domestic or the international levels and neither does Maxwell. I think the obsession of selectors with all-rounders is detrimental to the promotion of champion batsman and bowlers. Yes, all-rounders are important for team-balance and one or two is good, especially if he is a TRUE all-rounder. But three or four bits and pieces players is not really a good idea, I feel. We are lucky to have Watson who I believe is a genuine one day cricket all-rounder, and I think we should be happy with that. Let's pick the rest to be specialist batsman and bowlers.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | August 23, 2014, 8:23 GMT

    @Jamie Monaghan: This is a key tour. It's one of the last few series we have to put our plans into place. Get the right processes, get players in the right positions and get people used to it. The injuries to Marsh, Watson and Clarke have been devastating to the plans Lehmann would have had. it's not about 'giving people a go' it's about winning now. It's too close to the world cup to mess around.

    Also, the day that MC drops ODI cricket, the end of his career ouldn't be too far away. It's not as easy as it sounds to play at your best when you have already got a foot out the door. Ponting, Gilly and Haydos all conceded that once you drop a format, the end is nigh.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    I would of personally left Clarke out of this tour all together and given the opportunity to I.e Hughes or co. I'd be happy if Clarke gave up ODI cricket to prolong his Test career as we have powerful players to come in and fill the ODI role and Bailey is a great ODI leader too , although I know quite a lot of people don't like him or rate him for some reason.

  • POSTED BY AMMAR3438668158 on | August 23, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    i can't understand why clarke doubt abut their opening position.we have to good players like hughes and finch for opening position.our team is really good and in a position to win this tornament.i know warner and watson are both missing in team but without these guys we have good young players.best of luck my team.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    good opportunity for Hughes

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | August 23, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    @abhijeetkumar928: I have always given NZ a chance in any tournment they play. Their style of play is well suited to any tournament and they have done reasonably well over the past 8-10 years in tournaments. They will be a threat again this time around, especially with home matches.

  • POSTED BY ak928 on | August 23, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    what about the nz power hitters...lead by the destructive mccullum who can be lethal....along with anderson,neesham,ronchi and sometimes taylor(though he is not a slogger by any means,but can be destructive)........aus and nz will certainly be the major contenders for winning the wc 2015...

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | August 23, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    Nice to hear nice things about our team. Agreed with you 100% on the second part - No other team ( barring the WI ) has played test cricket the way Aus has , over the years !!

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | August 23, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    I deplore hype, but the return of his tennis strokes down the ground, suggest that he may finally have heeded my injunctions, to return to his original method and to rise once more as the authentic Hughes, that he was before joining the Ashes '09 squad - the cause of his subsequent malaise, rather than any opposition player. Unfortunately, prima facie evidence, aired in public by his mentor and anecdotal supporting evidence, were also ignored and a reversal of cause and effect was reported as fact. It led to five years of unwarranted vitriol in the public arena and it is a credit to Hughes, that he has endured far worse from his own organisation, media and public, than anything the opposition might have conjured and continues to find a way through and now - thrive. It augurs well for his future, though one wonders where he would now be standing in the pantheon, had he been left to his own devices. The Aus A series, ave over 100 - suggests he understands his path. I watch with interest.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | August 23, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    Australia are my predicted winners of CWC 2015 because they have consistent sloggers (power hitters) like Warner, Finch, Clarke, Bailey, Watson, Faulkner and Stephen Smith who can score 70 or 80 off 50 balls. Yes Aussie bowling with the white ball is not very threatening unlike with the cherry, but their great fielding means Aussies are the favorites. Windies power hitters are not consistent as they suit T20 format.

    No doubt Aussies play the most exciting form of test cricket as a lion's share of nail biting test matches in history have featured Australia. From a diehard Sri Lankan.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    clarke s not imporant n value.all the best aus youngest player team well.

  • POSTED BY onlinegamer55 on | August 23, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    What does Hughes have to do to get a game?

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY onlinegamer55 on | August 23, 2014, 2:36 GMT

    What does Hughes have to do to get a game?

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    clarke s not imporant n value.all the best aus youngest player team well.

  • POSTED BY Sinhaya on | August 23, 2014, 4:20 GMT

    Australia are my predicted winners of CWC 2015 because they have consistent sloggers (power hitters) like Warner, Finch, Clarke, Bailey, Watson, Faulkner and Stephen Smith who can score 70 or 80 off 50 balls. Yes Aussie bowling with the white ball is not very threatening unlike with the cherry, but their great fielding means Aussies are the favorites. Windies power hitters are not consistent as they suit T20 format.

    No doubt Aussies play the most exciting form of test cricket as a lion's share of nail biting test matches in history have featured Australia. From a diehard Sri Lankan.

  • POSTED BY hyclass on | August 23, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    I deplore hype, but the return of his tennis strokes down the ground, suggest that he may finally have heeded my injunctions, to return to his original method and to rise once more as the authentic Hughes, that he was before joining the Ashes '09 squad - the cause of his subsequent malaise, rather than any opposition player. Unfortunately, prima facie evidence, aired in public by his mentor and anecdotal supporting evidence, were also ignored and a reversal of cause and effect was reported as fact. It led to five years of unwarranted vitriol in the public arena and it is a credit to Hughes, that he has endured far worse from his own organisation, media and public, than anything the opposition might have conjured and continues to find a way through and now - thrive. It augurs well for his future, though one wonders where he would now be standing in the pantheon, had he been left to his own devices. The Aus A series, ave over 100 - suggests he understands his path. I watch with interest.

  • POSTED BY PrasPunter on | August 23, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    Nice to hear nice things about our team. Agreed with you 100% on the second part - No other team ( barring the WI ) has played test cricket the way Aus has , over the years !!

  • POSTED BY ak928 on | August 23, 2014, 4:56 GMT

    what about the nz power hitters...lead by the destructive mccullum who can be lethal....along with anderson,neesham,ronchi and sometimes taylor(though he is not a slogger by any means,but can be destructive)........aus and nz will certainly be the major contenders for winning the wc 2015...

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | August 23, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    @abhijeetkumar928: I have always given NZ a chance in any tournment they play. Their style of play is well suited to any tournament and they have done reasonably well over the past 8-10 years in tournaments. They will be a threat again this time around, especially with home matches.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | August 23, 2014, 7:26 GMT

    good opportunity for Hughes

  • POSTED BY AMMAR3438668158 on | August 23, 2014, 7:54 GMT

    i can't understand why clarke doubt abut their opening position.we have to good players like hughes and finch for opening position.our team is really good and in a position to win this tornament.i know warner and watson are both missing in team but without these guys we have good young players.best of luck my team.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | August 23, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    I would of personally left Clarke out of this tour all together and given the opportunity to I.e Hughes or co. I'd be happy if Clarke gave up ODI cricket to prolong his Test career as we have powerful players to come in and fill the ODI role and Bailey is a great ODI leader too , although I know quite a lot of people don't like him or rate him for some reason.