Michael Clarke doubtful for Delhi Test

Shane Watson will lead if Clarke fails fitness test, Aussie skipper has never missed a Test match due to injury.

Updated: March 18, 2013 19:40 IST
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Australian skipper Michael Clarke is doubtful for the fourth and final Test starting in New Delhi on Friday. Clarke is suffering from a bad back, a problem that has often troubled him in his brilliant career.

Clarke is expected to spend much of the next few days on the physio's table. "My fingers are crossed I will be doing everything I can to give myself the best chance," he said.

"I guess I am always pretty positive, touch wood I haven't missed a Test match due to injury so far in my career and I wouldn't like this to be my first one. If I can't perform at my best, if I feel I am going to let the team down, I won't be taking the field," he added.

In case Clarke is not available, Shane Watson will lead the Australians. Watson, who flew back to Australia for the birth of his first child, will be back in Delhi to lead the visitors. In Mohali, veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin had to captain the team when Clarke spent time in the dressing room due to back pain.

"It's very positive that Watto is coming back," Clarke said. "I know all the boys are looking forward to having him back and no doubt if I am unavailable ... I haven't spoken to the selectors but I would imagine that Watto would be captain that's for sure."

But Clarke's not giving up yet. He wants the Australians to go out on a high after losing the series 3-0.

"Fortunately I have got a few days before the next Test and I will spend as much time with (physio) Alex (Kountouris) as I can to get it right. It is the same problem I have had since I was 17 and I have been trying to manage it throughout my career and the next four days will be no different to normal when my back goes on me like this. It's about plenty of treatment, listening to the expert and doing everything I can to get it right for the next Test match."

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