Cautious Clarke raises World Cup risk factorJanuary 21st, 2011 - 2:52 pm ICT by ANI
Hobart (Tasmania, Australia), Jan. 21 (ANI): Acting Australian captain Michael Clarke is wondering just how many risks the defending champions can afford to take in their selections for February 19-April 2 tournament in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Ponting (broken finger) and Hussey (hamstring surgery) are on the sidelines and appear unlikely to take part in Australia’s seven-game series of one-day internationals against England, which finishes in Perth on February 6.
Skipper Ponting might be fit for the World Cup warm-up games against India and South Africa in Bangalore on February 13 and 15, Clarke says.
Hussey’s Melbourne surgeon David Young says the 35-year-old will be fit to play in Australia’s third World Cup game on March 5 against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Australia’s seven-team group includes Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya so the quarter-finals shouldn’t be a huge stretch for Ponting’s side.
Even so, Clarke sounded a note of caution on Thursday about the risks associated with carrying two injured batsmen in a 15-man squad.
“Hopefully he (Hussey) is okay. He’s been a huge player, not only this summer in the Test format but over a long period of time in one-day cricket,” Clarke told a press conference in Hobart.
“They (medical staff) are confident that if all goes well they can get him fit to take part in the World Cup. It’s just a matter of when he’ll be fit and if selectors are willing to take that risk to take him into the World Cup not being 100 per cent. Everybody’s hoping that he gets fit and we get him onto the park sooner rather than later,” The Age quoted Clarke, as saying.
Clarke said three-time World Cup winner Ponting’s condition was being assessed daily.
“I’m confident Ricky will be right to play the World Cup, it’s just about how much batting he gets under his belt leading up to that first game (February 21 against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad, India),” Clarke said. (ANI)
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