28 Dec 2014

Clarke unlikely to make start of World Cup

9:13 am on 28 December 2014

The Australia captain Michael Clarke doubts he will be fit for the start of the Cricket World Cup in February but hopes to be back at some stage during the one-day tournament.

Michael Clarke during the Ashes, Adelaide, 2013.

Michael Clarke during the Ashes, Adelaide, 2013. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Clarke had surgery on his injured hamstring after straining it for a fourth time in as many months during the first test against India in Adelaide.

Clarke came out of the surgery feeling positive but conceded he would struggle to be fit for Australia's opening match against England on Feb. 14.

"I'm really confident that the way things are progressing at the moment, that if I continue ticking the boxes, I'll be a really good chance for the World Cup," Clarke said.

"I think I'll certainly be fit and available for the majority of the World Cup.

"I'm hoping the selectors will give me the opportunity (to come back)."

Steven Smith has been leading the test side in Clarke's absence while George Bailey led the one-day international team during the recent series victory at home against South Africa.

After hurting his hamstring in Adelaide, a distraught Clarke told reporters he had to face the possibility that he might never play again.

He has since rowed back on those comments and remains determined to take back the reins.

Clarke said he put his reaction in Adelaide down to being "extremely emotional" and he had since been given confidence from surgeons that the hamstring tendon he had repaired was otherwise in sound condition.

With Clarke likely to miss the first part of the World Cup, Bailey is well placed to lead, though Smith has mounted a compelling case, bashing three centuries in consecutive matches against India and also dominating South Africa's world class attack in the ODI series.

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