Injured Clarke doubtful for Friday's clash

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Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 15:20 [IST]
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Watson to lead team in Clarke's absence

Melbourne, Feb 29: Australian skipper Michael Clarke is likely to sit out of the final league match against Sri Lanka in the ODI tri-series to be played at Melbourne on Friday.

All rounder Shane Watson, who led the side against India at Sydney will take charge again in the absence of skipper Michael Clarke.

Clarke was forced to sit out of two ODIs in the on-going tri-series due to a hamstring injury, might sit out of the final league match as Cricket Australia chief John Inverarity also conveyed the same.

"One of the uncertainties at the moment is still Michael Clarke's fitness. We think he's going to be okay for Friday, but were certainly going to have a low-risk strategy," he said.

"If he's  'just about right', I don't think we'll play him. But I think he'll be okay."

Meanwhile, James Pattinson, who performed extremely well in the Tests, has recovered completely and is expected to play the Friday's clash against Sri Lanka as Ryan Harris was dropped to accomodate the youngster.

The final league match between Australia and Sri Lanka will decide who will qualify for the finals, as India have done their bit by gaining a bonus point from their previous match against Sri Lanka by chasing 321 within 37 overs.

If Sri Lanka manage to scrape through on Friday, they will meet Aussies again in the finals, whereas if they lose, then based on how many wins the two teams have registered against each other would decide a berth to the finals.


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