Mohali: Mar 18, 2013
Michael Clarke's participation in the fourth and final Test against India is shrouded in uncertainty due to his sore back, which has opened up the possibility of Shane Watson taking over the mantle in case the regular skipper misses out.
Clarke said if he is ruled out of the match, Watson, one of four players to be suspended on disciplinary ground ahead of the third Test, will lead the side in the match starting in Delhi from March 22.
"If I am unavailable due to my fitness, I don't know...I haven't spoken to the selectors, but I would imagine that Watto will be the captain, that's for sure," Clarke said.
On being suspended for failing to submit to coach Mickey Arthur a presentation on how to improve his and the teams performance in the series, a furious Watson had left the tour in haste, preferring to be with his wife at the time of the birth of their baby.
But the equation between the all-rounder and the team management has improved over the past few days, with Watson flying back to India for the final game.
Asked about his back problem, Clarke said, "It is pretty sore, fortunately weve got a few days before the next Test so I want to spend as much time with [physio] Alex [Kountouri] I can to get it right. It is the same problem I've had since I was 17 years of age and I've been trying to manage it through my career. The next four days will be no different and I will have plenty of treatment and try to get it right."
Clarke said he will do everything it takes to overcome the problem before the start of the Test.
"My fingers are crossed I will be doing everything I can to give myself the best chance. I guess I am always pretty positive, touch wood I haven't missed a Test match due to injury so far in my career and I wouldn't like this to be my first one. If I can't perform at my best, if I feel I am going to let the team down, I won't be taking the field."
Clarke had been on and off the field many a times during India's innings yesterday, leaving the responsibility to lead the side to Brad Haddin.
First Published: March 18, 2013, 8:13 pm