Michael Clarke doubtful for Sri Lanka ODI

Australia captain Michael Clarke was was forced out of the team with back and hamstring injuries AFP

Melbourne: Feb 29, 2012

Australia captain Michael Clarke is set to miss out the final group game Friday against Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth Bank tri-series ODI cricket tournament, the national selectors said Wednesday.

All-rounder Shane Watson, who himself had just come back after recovering from injury, captained the side that comfortably beat India at Sydney and will also be in charge in Friday’s ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

Clarke, who was forced out of the team with back and hamstring injuries, has been named in the squad against Sri Lanka and the best-of-three finals but chairman of selectors John Inverarity is not sure Clarke will be available for Friday’s game.

“One of the uncertainties at the moment is still Michael Clarke’s fitness. We think he’s going to be okay for Friday, but we’re certainly going to have a low-risk strategy,” he said.

“If he’s ‘just about right’, I don’t think we’ll play him. But I think he’ll be okay.”

James Pattinson is likely to start for the Australians against Sri Lanka after returning from injury. Ryan Harris was dropped from the squad to make room for the young pacer.

The result of the final game will decide who Australia plays in the finals after India pulled off a sensational victory over Sri Lanka, chasing down a 321-run target in 37 overs.

“They have the power to do that at any given time,” Pattinson said about India.

“They have come into a bit of form and, hopefully, they have got all their runs in the one night and don’t score any more for the rest of the series.”(IANS)