Dark cloud over Clarke

Written By miftah nugraha on Selasa, 22 Januari 2013 | 19.55

Tasmanian batsman George Bailey, who will lead the side in his first home game should Michael Clarke fail to play, spoke at the captain's pre-game press conference today. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

THE player Australia can least afford to lose -- captain Michael Clarke -- is in doubt for tomorrow's one-day game against Sri Lanka in Hobart.

Australia's plans were thrown into disarray after Clarke rolled his ankle at training this morning during a simple fielding drill and was carried from the ground.

Tasmanian batsman George Bailey, who will lead the side in his first home game should Clarke fail to play, spoke at the captain's pre-game press conference today while Clarke was off having scans.

"Obviously he'll be given right up to the toss tomorrow to prove he's right to go," Bailey said.

"Hopefully that scan will be clear and there will obviously be a little bit of pain. But if he's 100 per cent, he'll be right to play."

With no other specialist batsmen in the 13-man squad, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell may have to come into the team to replace Clarke if the captain is unable to take his place -- unless selectors decide to fly in another batsman, most likely Usman Khawaja.

"Once again, I'm not entirely sure yet. No doubt the selectors will sort all that out," Bailey said.

"Hopefully the scan comes back clear and best case scenario Pup still plays."

Australia's top-order batting has struggled in the past three 50-over games and can ill afford to lose its best batsman.

With Sunday's game in Sydney abandoned because of a wet outfield, Australia can only tie the series 2-2 with Sri Lanka with a win in Hobart tomorrow.


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