Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014 August 24, 2014

Clarke could become a solo traveller

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Clarke has said he might need to consider arriving for future overseas tours ahead of his team-mates to allow himself extra time to ensure he is at full fitness. Clarke hurt his left hamstring on Friday at Australia's first training session in Zimbabwe and he believes he is vulnerable to injuries immediately after long-haul flights.

Last year, Clarke was ruled out of Australia's Champions Trophy campaign when his chronic back injury caused him problems upon arriving in England. He said that while Australia's next tour to the UAE should not be an issue - the series starts with a T20 that he would not play in any case, giving him extra preparation time - future tours could require him to travel ahead of his team-mates.

"It's only taken 12 years to work it out," Clarke told reporters in Harare. "What I've learned through my career is that I probably need more time than most in regards to the gap between getting off a plane and training at full intensity. If it means I have to fly a couple of days earlier than the boys on the long trips then that's what I've got to do.

"It's hard because I'm a big believer in travelling with the team. Generally when I travel to the UK there aren't too many times that I haven't got injured at the start of the series and I'm normally at my most vulnerable at the start of a series. I think I've got to be smarter with that, or at least try and work out how I can travel with the team but also do what's best to make sure I can play that first game."

Next year could be particularly gruelling for Clarke, with Australia set for a Test tour of the West Indies, followed by another Ashes tour of England, before heading to Bangladesh for Tests in October. With such a heavy schedule over the next 18 months, the Australians appear unlikely to take any risks with Clarke, which could mean he misses Monday's tri-series opener against Zimbabwe.

Coach Darren Lehmann said he considered Clarke a 50-50 prospect to take the field on Monday.

"He's desperate to play," Lehmann said. "We're obviously desperate for our captain to play full-stop so hopefully he'll get through [today's] session and we'll make a decision from there."

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  • Dummy4 on August 25, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    i think clark etake a rest bally is caption few players chance before world cup 1.finch 2.hughes 3.smith 4.bally 5.maxwell 6.hadien 7.faulkner 8.starc 9.johnson 10.richderson 11.lyon

  • Android on August 24, 2014, 15:52 GMT

    I'm sure bubble boy Clarke can figure out something less ridiculous. I mean really? How can sleeping in first class for a while have anything to do with his injuries. He gets so easily injured cause his about as pampered and tough as a french poodle, not by flying around in ultimate luxury. Watch out here in africa Micheal this sun might be a bit too harsh for your soft skin and sensitive eyes. A disgrace compared to guys like Waugh and Ponting

  • Saul on August 24, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    As a South African I'm a little miffed that Watson is not playing, his absence adds stiffness to the aussie batting line up and also redefines and focuses the bowling attack. When he does play he adds flair to the batting but also fragility, a bit Afridi-ish in that sense. I think he will struggle to get back into a side containing Warner, Finch, Clark, bailey, maxwell, and hughes as the top 6, Smith is a future captain so i doubt he'll be missing out either.

  • Dummy4 on August 24, 2014, 8:21 GMT

    smith in come for first match smith clarke maxwell bailey faulknar finch aus stong mans

  • rob on August 24, 2014, 6:44 GMT

    Clarke is a worry. .. anyway, I agree with @ landl47: Send the whole lot of them in 2 days earlier.

  • Duncan on August 24, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    I love the way Australian fans retain the arrogance of the bygone aus team 'aus at full strength can easily beat sa'. Australia may win but they may be surprised by Zim! I suppose I retain the dislike of the Australians from that bygone era, so I hope Zim and said give them a drubbing, unlikely but it would make me very happy.

  • Abhijeet on August 24, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    the absence of best australian players at the moment in the form of watson warner and now clark will really hurt aus against sa in this tri series...........aus at full strength can easily beat sa but injuries is hurting aus.....watson's injury was a major blow as marsh or maxwell is no replacement for shane watson.........

  • Prahanta on August 24, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    CA should do everything possible for Clerk's fitness. Apart from being a high quality batter, he is also a great leader.

  • John on August 24, 2014, 3:42 GMT

    I agree that it's important for the team to travel together, so why not send the whole squad across a couple of days earlier? CA can't possibly be hurting for money and an extra couple of days' practice can't do anyone any harm.

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