Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia captain Michael Clarke has revealed that he is considering arriving earlier than his team-mates during all future overseas tours in order to ensure that he is fully fit when they start.
Clarke’s comments come after he missed the first ODI of the tri-series against Zimbabwe on Monday in Harare after sustaining a hamstring injury during a training session.
Clarke was taken to the dressing room for treatment, but did not take part for the rest of the training session.
This type of thing has happened before as just last year, Clarke was ruled out of the Champions Trophy upon arriving in England since his chronic back problems flared up and caused him a great deal of trouble.
“It’s only taken 12 years to work it out,” Clarke told reporters in Harare. “What I’ve learned through my career is that I probably need more time than most in regards to the gap between getting off a plane and training at full intensity. If it means I have to fly a couple of days earlier than the boys on the long trips then that’s what I’ve got to do.
“It’s hard because I’m a big believer in travelling with the team. Generally when I travel to the UK there aren’t too many times that I haven’t got injured at the start of the series and I’m normally at my most vulnerable at the start of a series. I think I’ve got to be smarter with that, or at least try and work out how I can travel with the team but also do what’s best to make sure I can play that first game.”
However, Clarke will have to be ready for Australia’s gruelling international schedule as they will start off by touring the United Arab Emirates in October, where they will play Pakistan. Following that series, the Baggy Greens will play an ODI series against South Africa at home, a Test series against India at home, an ODI tri-series involving India and England on home soil, the 2015 World Cup, a tour of the West Indies and an Ashes series in England.
However, it doesn’t end there for Australia as they will head to Bangladesh after the Ashes series before facing New Zealand, the West Indies and India at home. After this, they will tour New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka before yet another busy summer begins.
With such a busy schedule ahead, it is unlikely the national selectors will take a chance with Clarke. However, head coach Darren Lehmann stated that Clarke is eager to play.
“He’s desperate to play,” Lehmann said. “We’re obviously desperate for our captain to play full-stop so hopefully he’ll get through [today’s] session and we’ll make a decision from there.”