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Michael Clarke unlikely to make start of World Cup

Clarke doubts he will be fit for the start of the World Cup in February but hopes to be back at some stage during the tournament.

Reuters |December 27, 2014, 9:24 AM IST
Michael Clarke unlikely to make start of World Cup

Melbourne: Australia captain Michael Clarke doubts he will be fit for the start of the World Cup in February but hopes to be back at some stage during the tournament.

Clarke had surgery on his injured hamstring after straining it for a fourth time in as many months during the first Test against India in Adelaide.

Clarke came out of the surgery feeling positive but conceded on Saturday he would struggle to be fit for Australia's opening match against England on February 14.

"I'm really confident that the way things are progressing at the moment, that if I continue ticking the boxes, I'll be a really good chance for the World Cup," Clarke told host broadcaster Channel Nine.

"I think I'll certainly be fit and available for the majority of the World Cup.

"I'm hoping the selectors will give me the opportunity (to come back)," he added.

Steven Smith has been leading the Test side in Clarke's absence while George Bailey led the one-day international team during the recent series victory at home against South Africa.

After hurting his hamstring in Adelaide, a distraught Clarke told reporters he had to face the possibility that he might never play again.

He has since rowed back on those comments and remains determined to take back the reins.

Clarke said he put his reaction in Adelaide down to being "extremely emotional" and he had since been given confidence from surgeons that the hamstring tendon he had repaired was otherwise in sound condition.

With Clarke likely to miss the first part of the World Cup, Bailey is well placed to lead, though Smith has mounted a compelling case, bashing three centuries in consecutive matches against India and also dominating South Africa's world class attack in the ODI series.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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