Clarke doubtful for series decider against New Zealand

February 12th, 2009 - 6:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 12 (IANS) A back injury has put Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke’s participation in doubt in Friday’s crucial final one-day match against New Zealand in the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series in Brisbane.
The injury kept Clarke away from Thursday’s net session at the Gabba. The series is levelled 2-2.

Skipper Ricky Ponting said that Clarke opted out of the training session but admitted that his deputy’s condition has to improve to open Australia’s innings.

“He is still a bit sore. We’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning before we make the final decision on him. We’ve got a few options that we’re considering and tossing around at the moment as to who will open if he doesn’t play, but we won’t give that away right at the moment,” Ponting was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

If Clarke fails to pass the fitness test Friday morning, Queensland all-rounder James Hopes is likely to move up the order to open the innings while West Australian Adam Voges might get a call-up to the team.

Ponting also hinted that Clarke could be replaced by fast bowler Peter Siddle, to form a four-man pace attack to exploit Brisbane’s cloudy conditions.

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