By BV Swagath
Skipper Michael Clarke has been ruled out of the India Tour with a back injury. Clarke, who has a history of back problems, had it resurfacing during the ODI Series in England. The 32-year-old would need some more time for rehabilitation before returning to competitive cricket according to Australia’s physio Alex Kountouris.
George Bailey will lead the Australian team in Clarke’s absence in the 7 ODIs in India. South Australian batsman Callum Fergusson, who has played 30 ODIs has been named as Clarke’s replacement. The 28-year-old Fergusson, who made his ODI Debut in 2009, has scored 5 fifties and has a good batting average of 41.43 but has failed to be a regular part of the national team.
Australia have made another change to their selected squads by adding Nic Maddinson for the Only T20I in India. The 21-year-old uncapped Maddinson plays for New South Wales and Sydney Sixers. Maddinson is a left-handed opening batsman who is expected to be Aaron Finch’s partner in the Only T20I against India which is on the 10th of this month.
Australia plays 7 ODIs against India between October 13th and November 2nd.
National Selector John Inverarity according to Cricket Australia website is quoted to have said: “Michael was very keen to captain the ODI team to India but unfortunately he hasn’t progressed enough to be available for selection.
"His replacement is Callum Ferguson, whose form in 50-over cricket during the last Australian summer was impressive, scoring 271 runs at an average of 45 and a strike rate of 70 in the RYOBI CUP, along with an additional three matches for Australia A against the England Lions in February scoring 149 runs in three innings at 49.66 with a strike rate of 91.
“George Bailey will captain the ODI team in Michael’s absence. Brad Haddin will be George’s vice-captain.
“In addition, The NSP has added Nic Maddinson to the squad for the T20 fixture. Nic showed some sparkling form on Australia A tours during the winter.
"He will be in strong contention to open the batting with Aaron Finch in this game,” Inverarity said.
Australian Team Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris according to CA website is quoted to have said: “Michael Clarke has a longstanding low back injury that requires ongoing management.
"During the recent England ODI series his injury flared up again and has been slow to improve with his regular treatment regime.
"Michael will therefore not be available to play the upcoming India ODI series and will require a more extensive rehabilitation period before returning to competitive cricket,” Kountouris said.
Australia Squad: Shane Watson, Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes, George Bailey (Captain), Callum Fergusson, Adam Voges, Brad Haddin (Wicket Keeper), Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty, Nic Maddison (Only for T20I)