Clarke missed Smith and Johnson

Captain Michael Clarke will miss the rest of Australia's ODI tri-series against Zimbabwe and South Africa at the Harare Sports Club due to a recurrence of a hamstring injury.

Captain Michael Clarke questioned the absence of all-rounder Steven Smith, after Australia sunk to a historic three-wicket defeat at the hands of Zimbabwe in a key ODI tri-series match at the Harare Sports Club.

An Australian XI sans the services of Smith, who had scored an important 31 against the Proteas and gathered three telling wickets against the Zimbabweans earlier in the tournament, was dropped for Sunday's fixture.

"I think our middle-order batting certainly missed Steve, he's a very good player of spin and it was disappointing he wasn't out there to combat those conditions, but that was the way the selectors went," said Clarke.

"I think we've seen through Smith's career he's a pretty good player of spin bowling and he can bowl some handy leg-spinners, so I think he would have been handy out there, but it means you've got to leave someone out as well so that's always difficult."

Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, too, was overlooked. Fellow left-armer Mitchell Starc, meanwhile, proved expensive – and seamers James Faulkner, Ben Cutting and Mitchell Marsh failed to take a wicket.

"Like I say, the selectors pick the XI and I do my best to try and get the best out of them, so it's always tough to work out what you think the best XI is for certain conditions," added Clarke.

"It didn't matter what XI we had on the field. If we play like that we're not going to beat any team. So whatever team is selected we have to perform better than we did. Obviously the selectors will be talking now about what they think the best team is and the players will be having a think about their own performances as well."

The right-handed Clarke has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour due to a recurring hamstring injury. Batsman George Bailey is expected to be named skipper in the absence of Clarke.