New Delhi: Unfit Michael Clarke could miss the upcoming India Test series as the Australian captain continues to canvass all possible options including hamstring surgery. He has injured the same leg three times in as many months in Zimbabwe, UAE and in Perth, on the eve of first one-dayer against South Africa.
According to Sydney Morning Herald, in a bid to prolong Clarke's cricket career, Cricket Australia will allow the star batsman to miss the entire Test summer. CA also admitted the fear that rushing back to fitness may have far reaching implications on the captain's ability to play longer.
Australian team performance chief Pat Howard said that surgery would be unlikely, but this option is not being ignored considering how quick Nathan Coulter-Nile returned after having his own. The 27-year-old fast bowler took eight weeks to come back.
"We are putting the World Cup and Ashes right up there and if he's right for the Indian Test series so be it. But we've seen him rushed back and what we'd hate is for him to play a Test or two and then break down,” Howard said.
Howard also said that they need to priorities things when dealing with such issues. "I have talked about the priorities and what they are. Sometimes you have got to take a little bit of a long term and a medium term picture. If we do this well, we can get extra years out of Michael who is a world class player, rather than thinking in days and tournaments. We have an opportunity to really get the best out of the last couple of years of his career," he added.
Clarke has never missed a home Test through injury. And in his absence Brad Haddin will act as Test captain if fit, with George Bailey leading the limited overs side.
India will play a four-Test matches series in Australia. The first Test will start on December 04 in Brisbane, and the last one will run from January 03 to 07. It will be followed by a tri-series involving England before they engage themselves in the 2015 Cricket World Cup down under.
With agency inputs