Michael Clarke prepared to travel alone to avoid injury

Reuters| Last Updated: Aug 24, 2014, 12:01 PM IST

Melbourne: Michael Clarke may opt to alter his travel plans for future overseas tours as the Australia captain races against time to recover from a hamstring injury for Monday`s first one-day international against Zimbabwe.

Clarke, who has had a five-month layoff since leading Australia to a 2-1 test series triumph in South Africa, experienced pain in his left hamstring during the team`s first training session on Friday.

The 33-year-old, who has battled a chronic back problem throughout his career, suspected the lack of rest after a 15-hour flight from Sydney to Harare may have caused the injury.

"What I`ve learned through my career is that I probably need more time than most in regards to the gap between getting off a plane and training at full intensity," Clarke told reporters in Harare.

"If it means I have to fly a couple of days earlier than the boys on the long trips, then that`s what I`ve got to do. It`s hard because I`m a big believer in travelling with the team, I`ve always liked that."

Clarke will have more time to rest up before being required to play on Australia`s next trip, a Pakistan series in the UAE next month which opens with a Twenty20 match, a format he has given up at international level.

"Generally when I travel to the UK, there aren`t too many times that I haven`t got injured at the start of the series and I`m normally at my most vulnerable at the start of a series," Clarke added.

"So I think I`ve got to be smarter with that, or at least try and work out how I can travel with the team but also do what`s best to make sure I can play the first game."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann believed Clarke had a 50/50 chance of making the team for the opening game of a tri-series tournament that also features South Africa.

If Clarke misses out, top order batsman Phillip Hughes, a late replacement for injured all-rounder Shane Watson, could take his place while vice-captain George Bailey will lead the side.