Aussies sweat on Clarke’s fitness

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    Australia’s precarious batting order faces the prospect of an allrounder replacing captain Michael Clarke for the one-day international series decider against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

    Clarke is in serious doubt for the Bellerive match, which Australia must win to avoid an embarrassing 3-1 series defeat, after twisting his ankle during a warm-up fielding drill at Tuesday’s training session.

    Team officials said he was icing and resting the injury in a bid to be fit for the match.

    The loss of Australia’s best batsman would be a massive blow to a side that has passed 250 just once in the four games so far and was bowled out for a meagre 74 in game three at the Gabba.

    It would most likely see David Hussey or vice-captain George Bailey moved to No.3 with spinning allrounder Glenn Maxwell promoted.

    Maxwell averages 27.40 from his six ODIs while the other member of Australia’s 13-man squad, Ben Cutting, is a pace bowler and lower-order hitter.

    Keeper Matt Wade could bat as high as five with allrounders Moises Henriques and Maxwell to follow.

    Bailey, who would skipper the side for the first time on his home ground, said Clarke would be given until the last minute to prove his fitness.

    “He will obviously be given right up to the toss tomorrow to prove he is right to go,” he told reporters.

    “There will be a little bit of pain but, if he is 100 per cent, he will play.”

    Australia’s batsmen have made totals of 170, 74 and 9-222 since their opening match 5-305, when Phil Hughes scored 112 and Bailey 89.

    The top order has been exposed by the swing of Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga with two white balls being used.

    “The challenge is make sure we do weather those new balls,” Bailey said.

    “If it is swinging and seaming a little bit early and it does happen to be a good batting wicket, then hopefully you make the most of that.

    “The challenge is for the top four to make sure we’re doing the bulk of the run-scoring and batting the majority of the time.

    “That’s our role, whether it’s your first or hundredth game.”

    Bailey said Clarke’s absence would up the challenge for a top order still coming to terms with the losses of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey.

    “I think if you are replacing Michael Clarke with anyone, it’s a step down and that is no disrespect to whoever needs to replace him,” Bailey said.

    “It is a challenge, which is hopefully what the guys step up into.

    “That’s what we are hoping and that is what we have lacked in the last couple of games, is someone stepping up … to fill the gaps with Mike Hussey leaving, Ricky Ponting leaving.”

    Australia, who won game one in Melbourne by 107 runs, find themselves in the unfamiliar position of trying to salvage a 2-2 series result.

    Bailey said the inexperienced and changing Australian line-up had been dealt a lesson in the rigours of international cricket.

    “The change from domestically, where you might play a good side once or twice a year … whereas you’re coming up against world-class players day-in, day-out here,” he said.

    “That challenge doesn’t go away, particularly with a team like Sri Lanka which has such a great one-day record.”

    Australian squad: Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 8:59am
      Dan Ced said | January 23rd 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      I’ve already written off this series.

      The selectors need to have a long hard look at their horrible selections before the next batch of ODI’s

      The lack of domestic one day and four day games recently has had them taking names out of a hat.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 9:24am
      Red Kev said | January 23rd 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      The touring squad for India will apparently be announced about the same time as the ODI squad for the WI series (i.e. before the end of this month). The selectors will be hoping that Maxwell and Henriques perform well today in Hobart so they have an excuse to include them for the tour of the sub-continent. The rest of us should be praying that the two of them (and David Hussey) continue to produce terrible form with bat and ball so that the selectors are forced to make sensible selections.

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:12am
        Dan Ced said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        🙁 I like David Hussey, but I cannot argue with his recent failures.. although the whole team has failed bar Starc, and Warner in the last game.

        I don’t hold any hope for the Indian tour team announcement.

        The selectors have proven themselves incompetent and frightfully ignorant.. so I expect the worst.

        Ed Cowan will stay,
        Glen Maxwell will be selected as an allrounder even though he can’t bat or bowl save the odd sloppy slogfest.
        Steve Smith will probably be in the touring squad, I think they are daft enough to do that.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:11am
      jameswm said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      Clarke isn’t a great one day batsman anyway, but the replacement will still be worse.

      I think it’d help their batting order to open with Wade and put Hughes at 3. Wade has opened with success in ODIs. So if Clarke’s injured, I’d go with this. You have to squeeze 10 overs out of Maxwell and Henriques, and possibly D Huss. I’s possibly drop Mitchell Johnson from that 11 in fact, and keep both Cutting and McKay.

      David Warner
      Matthew Wade,
      Phil Hughes,
      David Hussey
      George Bailey,
      Glenn Maxwell,
      Moises Henriques,
      Mitchell Johnson,
      Ben Cutting/Clint McKay
      Mitchell Starc, .
      Xavier Doherty,
      Michael Clarke (inj),

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 10:25am
        Dan Ced said | January 23rd 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        I would be somewhat happy with this team right now:

        David Warner
        Matthew Wade,
        Phil Hughes,
        Usman Khawaja,
        George Bailey,
        David Hussey
        Dan Christian,
        Ben Cutting
        Mitchell Starc,
        Clint Mckay
        Cameron Boyce,

        Perhaps swap the “allrounder” out for an S Marsh or something. Mitchell Johnson, whilst still somewhat useful.. should be relegated to the past before they accidentally include him in the test team again.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:26am
          Matt F said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Apart from Boyce that’s a very good side.

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 1:51pm
            Dan Ced said | January 23rd 2013 @ 1:51pm | ! Report

            I guess Boyce is just a placeholder for someone who isn’t Doherty, lol. He bores me, a spinner needs some spark or at least a few spark deliveries. Most people seem to think Beer should be there but I haven’t seen enough of him, but I followed most Strikers games and Boyce looked at least interesting.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:22am
      Bearfax said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      All summer Khawaja has been identified as the replacement for Clarke. Even when other batsmen couldnt play, they brought in Maxwells etc holding Khawaja back as Clarkes replacement it seemed only. We want an all rounder for an allrounder and a batsman for a batsman they more or less stated. But now that Clarke looks definitely out, do they replace a batsman for a batsman and give Khawaja his chance. No this time we’ll bring in an all rounder

      What a joke these selectors have become and their bias against Khawaja should be becoming increasingly evident.

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:38am
        Red Kev said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:38am | ! Report

        Good point

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:46am
        Christo the Daddyo said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

        Yes, I’d like to hear from them an explanation as to why Khawaja isn’t being considered anymore.

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:50am
          jameswm said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          He’s not in the squad for the game. If someone is injured, they’ll select someone else from within the 13-man squad.

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:54am
            Red Kev said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:54am | ! Report

            Maybe Ponting is in Tassie and can be pulled out of retirement?

            • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:53pm
              Matt F said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              As awful as he was before he was dropped last summer he would have to be better than Maxwell right? Probably better with the ball as well!

              It would make a mockery of them not picking Hussey though, well more of a mockery anyway…

        • Roar Rookie

          January 23rd 2013 @ 1:26pm
          Justin Ware said | January 23rd 2013 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

          There is certainly some kind of bias going on towards certain individuals COUGH Maxwell COUGH Henriques

      • January 23rd 2013 @ 12:52pm
        Matt F said | January 23rd 2013 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

        The problem is that Khawaja is in QLD and they’re still not sure if Clarke will play or not. Well, they probably know now but they would have needed to get Khawaja down to Hobart yesterday at the very latest to get him ready

        • January 23rd 2013 @ 1:53pm
          Bearfax said | January 23rd 2013 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

          Yes Matt and they’ve been conveniently making those and other sorts of excuses to deny him his chance all summer. Of course there have been others who have been called at a moments notice from across the country to travel within a day to play in one of the sides, but they are a horse ( or is that man?) of a different colour.

          • January 23rd 2013 @ 3:02pm
            Matt F said | January 23rd 2013 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

            It’s also the logical explanation and is evidenced by Richardsons late call up in Adelaide. The fact that they had Maxwell in the squad meant they didn’t need a replacement anyway (he’s rubbish but it makes sense to use the guy already in the squad.) By all means keep the conspiracy theories going though

            • January 23rd 2013 @ 3:42pm
              Bearfax said | January 23rd 2013 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

              I will. It spices up the forums. Totally useless I know in having any impact on the selectors but hey I like to vent my spleen now and then and this is as good a place as anywhere else.

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 11:22am
      David said | January 23rd 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      I have to agree Wade has a far better record in ODI’s opening the innings and he and Warner are a good opening pair in my opinion. and Dan that team looks tantalising on paper

    • January 23rd 2013 @ 2:14pm
      polly said | January 23rd 2013 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

      They should have rotated Clarkeout from the last match to stop an injury like this occurring ! Couldn’t they tell he was on the verge of an unforeseen accident, surely all the performance parameters would tell you how long it’s been since he last had an unforeseen accident & you’d just have to know one was just around the corner.
      Even with Clarke only facing 20 balls in his innings he was clearly so close to his next unforeseen accident that it surely would have happened during the match if he had batted for longer. I feel the support staff have been negligent in not recognising his perilous situation & resting him thus avoiding this totally onforeseen event which they should have seen coming.

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