Clarke set for back scans ahead of India ODIs

Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke will be undergoing scans on his lower back once back Down Under, the results of which could see him miss the limited-overs series against India next month, and possibly some of the Ashes.

Australia captain Michael Clarke will be undergoing scans on his lower back once back Down Under, the results of which could see him miss the limited-overs series against India next month, and possibly some of the Ashes.

Clarke's chronic back problem is a constant source of speculation, and he nearly missed the fifth ODI against England as it flared up again. But after playing through the tour, the skipper was able to score a half century as Australia won the series.

But now he has a month to recover before the India matches, seven of which are ODIs, and coach Darren Lehmann is unsure what the results will indicate. If he is not fully fit, he is likely to be rested ahead of the return Tests against England.

The coach said of Clarke's prospects for the India series: "He will go home and get scans and then if he is not 100% fit we have to wait and see.

"On Monday he said he was fit to go and you take his word on that. We'll get back home and check it with the medics and see how he goes from there. He has had it for a long time.

"I am pretty pleased he got through the series, albeit very lucky to play on Monday, but he played and led well."

Aside from Clarke's fitness and performance, Lehmann also looked back on the England tour as a whole, saying they improved as the trip progressed, and could have won a Test or two if not for some lost momentum.

The coach said of the concluded tour: "We know we have got to improve in some areas – especially with the bat.

"The way we played – especially in the last three Tests – we were very, very good except for two hours in Durham (when they suffered a batting collapse). We just need to be consistent and grab the big moments and we know that.

"I am really pleased with the way they played throughout the one-day tournament, even though we had a few rain-affected games, but I thought we played pretty well."

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