Johannesburg:Batsman Michael Clarke will be missing when Australia launch their 2009 ICC Champions Trophy campaign against the West Indies at the Wanderers on Saturday.
A team spokesman said on Friday the vice-captain of the defending champions suffered back pain on a flight from England to South Africa and his omission was precautionary.
"We are assessing Michael day by day and and there is improvement, but taking the whole tournament into consideration we have adopted a conservative approach and he will not play tomorrow," he said.
This is the second blow to Australia in as many days with star bowler Nathan Bracken withdrawing from the two-week tournament because of an on-going right knee problem.
Deprived of their best cricketers by a long-running contract dispute, the West Indies crumbled to 133 all out against Pakistan in the opening Group A match on Wednesday at the same venue and lost by five wickets.
The match is a repeat of the 2006 final in Mumbai which Australia won by eight wickets on the Duckworth-Lewis method after scoring 116-2 in reply to the Windies 138 all out.