Clarke out with back pain - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clarke out with back pain

By Adam Cooper 24/06/2005 06:10:57 AM Comments (0)

Australian batsman Michael Clarke has new bats and new goals after form, theft and now injury have made for a bad case of post-medal blues.

Clarke was Australian cricket's golden child in February when he won the Allan Border Medal as the player of the year after Test centuries on debut away and home and an impressive run as a one-day opener.

But apart from a few decent one-day knocks, things have not been so rosy for the 24-year-old since his surprise medal win.

He made just 38 runs in three Test innings in New Zealand and soon after he arrived in England, had his playing kit stolen from Leicester's county ground - including the bat he used to make his Test centuries in Bangalore and Brisbane last year.

To make matters worse, he experienced acute pain in his lower back after training on Wednesday and was ruled out of the tri-series day-nighter against England at the Riverside Ground.

Clarke was confined to bed rest and also remains in doubt for Saturday's match against Bangladesh at Old Trafford.

With 121 runs in his past seven Test innings - against Pakistan and the Kiwis - Clarke goes into the coming Ashes series under pressure, and with reserve batsman Brad Hodge almost certain to capitalise on any chance he is offered.

"This series is pretty important to me as well - the one-day series and the Test series - knowing that I played at Hampshire last year and wasn't that successful," Clarke said before training on Wednesday.

"I want to come back here and try and score as many runs as I can and I feel pretty good at the moment personally."

Moments after his medal triumph Clarke warned his hay-making would not last forever, but little did he know he put the mozz on himself.

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