Recovering from back spasm, Australian captain Michael Clarke trained with the team ahead of the fourth Test against India but remained a doubtful starter for the match, beginning on Friday.
“I still have 24 hours, just need to make sure my treatment goes off well. I’ll take the call in the morning,” said Clarke at the pre-match conference.
“It’s the same bulging disc issue I’ve battled on and off since I was 17. I have to make sure that I’ll remain injury-free for the next assignment. I’ll have to first assess my injury and then take a call in the morning. I haven’t missed a Test through injury since my debut in 2004 and I’ll do everything to keep it that way ahead of the fourth Test.”
Clarke suffered back spasm during a fielding drill in the Mohali Test. He had supported Watson’s candidature for captaincy in case he fails to recover in time.
Asked to comment on Shane Watson leading the side, Clarke said, “Shane is an important part of our team, there’s no doubt about it. He hasn’t performed that well in the first Two Tests. But if Shane can come up with his best cricket in the fourth Test, it’ll be a huge improvement in his game.
“It would be really satisfying if we go back home winning the last Test. We need this win. We are putting in our best effort to get this win under our belt,” he said.
Watson has reunited with the team after being dropped for the third Test in Mohali for failing to submit a presentation on team performance.
Watson went back home as his wife was due to give birth to their first child but joined the side here for the final Test.
Clarke said he will continue to undergo treatment till the start of match.
“At this stage there is still doubt of me pulling fit enough to play tomorrow but I’ve been given every opportunity.
I’ll have plenty of treatment again today.
“I’ve got another 24 hours to assess my fitness and do everything I can to get myself right to play this Test match.”