Clarke a doubt for tri-series opener

Australia

Australia are set to be without skipper Michael Clarke for the first match of their tri-series in Zimbabwe, after he picked up a hamstring injury in training in Harare on Friday.

Australia are set to be without skipper Michael Clarke for the first match of their tri-series in Zimbabwe, after he picked up a hamstring injury in training in Harare on Friday.

Clarke was forced to leave the session after tweaking something in the warm-ups, and did not return to practice. If he doesn't play on Monday in the opening game of the tournament, the side will be led by T20 skipper George Bailey.

David Beakley, the team physiotherapist, said: "We will monitor his condition closely over the next 24 hours to see how he responds to further treatment before making a decision on his management."

Clarke's absence will be good news for batsman Phil Hughes, who was called into the side as a late replacement for the injured Shane Watson. Despite Hughes astonishing run of form, he was not an initial pick.

But now that there is a space available, and no David Warner either, the batting options are limited given the squad is only 15 men strong. As such, Hughes is almost guaranteed a place, on the back of his run of double tons for Australia A.

If Clarke misses the match against Zimbabwe on Monday, he will have time to recover until the game against South Africa on Wednesday, also in Harare.

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