SYDNEY - Captain Michael Clarke was Tuesday ruled out of Australia’s one-day tour of India this month with his long-standing back problem needing further treatment ahead of the home Ashes series against England.
The star batsman was picked in the initial 14-man squad last month but the chronic injury has failed to show as much progress as expected, with George Bailey assuming responsibilities as skipper. “Michael was very keen to captain the ODI team to India but unfortunately he hasn’t progressed enough to be available for selection,” said national selector John Inverarity. Clarke has been plagued by back problems for years and it flared up again before Australia’s final ODI in Southampton last month at the end of a gruelling Ashes tour to England.
He played in that game, but selectors are reluctant to take any more risks with Clarke given a big home summer coming up including the return Ashes series which starts with the first Test in Brisbane on November 21. “Michael Clarke has a long-standing low-back injury that requires ongoing management,” said team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris. “During the recent England ODI series his injury flared up again and has been slow to improve with his regular treatment regime.
“Michael will therefore not be available to play the upcoming India ODI series and will require a more extensive rehabilitation period before returning to competitive cricket.” Australia are due to play a seven-game ODI series and one Twenty20 in India from October 10, coached by Steve Rixon while Darren Lehmann is rested. South Australia’s Callum Ferguson has been called up to replace Clarke with veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin assuming Bailey’s previous role as vice-captain.
Selectors, meanwhile, added highly promising New South Wales batsman Nic Maddinson to their squad for the one-off T20 match. “Nic showed some sparkling form on Australia A tours during the winter,” said Inverarity. “He will be in strong contention to open the batting with Aaron Finch in this game.”
ODI squad: George Bailey (capt), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Callum Ferguson, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Adam Voges, Shane Watson.
T20 squad: George Bailey (capt), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Johnson, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Adam Voges, Shane Watson.