Australia skipper Clarke doubtful for India tour

Melbourne, Sep 19 (IANS) Australia captain Michael Clarke is doubtful for the limited overs series in India next month and has been selected in the national squad "subject to fitness" in time for the trip.

"After a long tour (to England), Michael Clarke's back condition has flared up again and he has been selected subject to fitness. He has returned to Australia for further assessment and the National Selection Panel (NSP) hopes that it will improve in time for the Indian tour," Cricket Australia's (CA) national selector John Inverarity said Thursday.

The 32-year-old skipper has been suffering from a recurring back problem which started in India in March and also troubled him during the Australian tour to England recently.

In addition, Shaun Marsh, Matthew Wade, Josh Hazlewood and Fawad Ahmed have been omitted from the side while Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques and Xavier Doherty have been brought in.

Out of form wicketkeeper-batsman Wade has been dropped in favour of Haddin while opening batsman Marsh is out with an injury.

"Shaun Marsh sustained a hamstring injury at Cardiff Sep 14 and could not be considered for selection. Matthew Wade has been omitted due to lack of form and has been replaced by Brad Haddin, who captured an Ashes series record of dismissals in July and August," said Inverarity in a statement.

The selectors have also brought in all-rounder Henriques for Hazlewood while left arm spinner Doherty will replace leg spinner Ahmed.

"There will be a reduced need for pace bowling on this tour so the squad has been reduced from 15 to 14 players and Josh Hazlewood has been omitted. Moises Henriques has been included as a pace bowling all-rounder and will provide the required flexibility. Xavier Doherty has been included in the squad in place of Fawad Ahmed as he is well suited to one-dayers in India," added Inverarity.

In another change, Steve Rixon will be the head coach for the tour as Darren Lehmann has been given a break.

"As with the successful tour of the UAE last year, we will have Steve Rixon acting as head coach in India. Darren has been on the road and away from home for a considerable amount of time. This is a great opportunity for Darren to refresh, work with the states and provide others with opportunities," CA executive general manager team performance Pat Howard said.

The two sides will play one T20 International Oct 10 in Rajkot, followed by seven ODIs from Oct 13 to Nov 2.

Australia Squad: Michael Clarke (Captain), George Bailey (Vice-captain), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Adam Voges, Shane Watson.

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