Clarke set to miss ODI decider

Australia

Australia may be without skipper Michael Clarke for the fifth and final one-dayer against England as his chronic lower back problem, which saw him out of action in India, has flared up again.

Australia may be without skipper Michael Clarke for the fifth and final one-dayer against England as his chronic lower back problem, which saw him out of action in India, has flared up again.

Clarke, who played all five Ashes Tests in England, is likely to miss out on the ODI series decider as the medical staff look to make sure he is fit for the return Ashes Down Under in November.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann said on Sunday: "It's a big game. But if he's not right, we won't risk him. It's an important series, but we've got another one-day series (against India) and an Ashes series coming up."

Lehmann then said that batsman Phil Hughes, who has not played for the Aussies since the second Ashes Test, would be the most likely replacement if Clarke cannot play.

He said: "We'll look at the pitch, but I think that's the probably the way we'd go. It gives him an opportunity. He's playing really well and working on his game, and that's all we can ask. He's ready to go. We hope he gets his chance and away he goes."

Boof then went on to say they were excited about the final match on Monday, given their failure to win a game during the Tests and drawing the T20s one all.

Lehmann said: "It gets down to a grand final set-up now – which is great. That's what we want the players put under most of the time, although you would have loved to close out the series (in Cardiff).

"We're certainly playing the right brand of cricket. We just made a couple of elementary mistakes. Apart from that, we've pretty much played how we want to play. Now the case is we want to finish on a high and get moving on."

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