Michael Clarke misses first ODI for Australia

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Australia captain Michael Clarke has missed the first ODI of the tri-series against Zimbabwe after he sustained a hamstring injury while training in Harare on Friday.

Clarke complained of having pain in his left hamstring during the national team's training session and was immediately taken to the dressing room for treatment. He did not take part for the rest of the training session.

Unable to recover

Clarke had until Monday to recover but was unable to prove his fitness for the match, with vice-captain George Bailey taking over as captain for the match.

"We will monitor his condition closely over the next 24 hours to see how he responds to further treatment before making a decision on his management," team physiotherapist David Beakley said.

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If Clarke's injury turns out to be serious, it will be another major blow to Australia's chances of winning the tri-series. The Baggy Greens already lost opening batsman David Warner since he and his fiancée are expecting their first child.

All-rounder Shane Watson has also been ruled out of the series after injuring his ankle during a training session in Brisbane. Watson went down after stepping on a cricket ball and as a result, he was replaced by Phillip Hughes, who has been in tremendous form as of late.

Hughes overlooked

Hughes recently became the first Australian to score a double century in a List A match and he also scored an unbeaten 243 against South Africa A in a four-day game.

Clarke's injury bolstered Hughes' chances of playing, but ultimately it was up to head coach Darren Lehmann to decide whether he would get a game or not - and the decision was not.

With Australia facing a very hectic and draining schedule, it is unlikely the national selectors will be taking any chances with Clarke, especially since the national team will be heading to the United Arab Emirates in October to play Pakistan.

Batting options

With Clarke ruled out, Australia's batting line-up comprises of Aaron Finch, Bailey, Steven Smith, wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin and all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh.

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Australia cricket
Michael Clarke
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