Clarke faces race for Ashes fitness

October 01, 2013
Cricket - International Cricket - Bet Now at Bet365

Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss the upcoming one-day series in India as he tries to overcome a back problem to be ready to feature in the Ashes.

Clarke had been expected to lead the Baggy Greens in seven ODIs, but will now be replaced as captain by George Bailey, with Callum Ferguson drafted into the Australia squad.

Thirty-two-year-old Clarke was troubled by his long-standing back problem while in England, but now hopes to be ready for the return Ashes series Down Under, which starts in Brisbane on 21st November.

Australia, who have lost the last three Ashes series, are 2.75 to triumph on home soil and 11.00 to win by a 2-1 scoreline, while England can be backed at 2.00 to win a fourth straight Ashes series.

Team physio Alex Kountouris confirmed: "Michael Clarke has a long-standing low back injury that requires ongoing management.

"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."

Right-hander Clarke has played in 97 Test matches to date and has scored 1,746 runs at an average of 45.94 against England in 25 Tests.

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