Michael Clarke to miss World Cup opener (watch video)

Michael Clarke to miss World Cup opener (watch video)

Written by Staff Writer

12 Feb, 2015 | 5:37 pm

Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss the World Cup opener against England on Saturday (February 14). This was revealed by Australian Coach Darren Lehmann who went on to note that Clarke has to pass several fitness tests to be ready for the second group match against Bangladesh.

On the comeback trail from hamstring surgery, Clarke had an encouraging return in Australia’s final World Cup warm-up match against United Arab Emirates in Melbourne on Wednesday, scoring a game-high 64 and running between the wickets without any apparent discomfort.

Vice captain George Bailey is expected to lead against England at the MCG, though local media have called for batsman Steven Smith, who led the team during Clarke’s absence in the India test series, to take the reins.

A crowd of 90,000 is expected at the MCG for Saturday’s match. England have lost 13 of their past 15 one-day matches away to Australia, including their last three matches during the recent triangular series with India.

The last harrowing tour of Australia, when England lost the Ashes and the following one-day series 4-1, will be fresh in the minds of seasoned players like Ian Bell and frontline seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

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