Watson to captain if Clarke misses match again

Melbourne: Shane Watson is likely to lead Australia in Friday`s crucial and last league match of the tri-series against Sri Lanka as regular skipper Michael Clarke is still doubtful after missing batting practice on Thursday.

"Clarke jogged laps of the MCG but was the only batsman in the Australia squad not to appear in the nets before this afternoon`s finals-shaping match against Sri Lanka at the MCG," Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The newspaper said all-rounder Daniel Christian has good chances to remain in the playing XI if Clarke does not play. "Such a scenario could defer the tough decision on which player has to make way for Clarke, with all-rounder Daniel Christian a likely candidate because of the return of fellow all-rounder Watson," the newspaper said.

Watson, who has just returned from an injury, had led the side against India and played a significant part in his side`s victory.

Fit-again paceman James Pattinson was the only bowler to practise in the optional net session. Meanwhile paceman Brett Lee has expressed willingness to play in Friday`s match despite having a broken foot.