Australia was on Tuesday dealt a massive blow ahead of its upcoming tour of India as skipper Michael Clarke was ruled out of the limited-over series due to a nagging back injury and replaced by Callum Ferguson in the squad.
“The Cricket Australia National Selection Panel advises that South Australia’s Callum Ferguson will replace the injured Michael Clarke on Australia’s VB Tour of India,” Cricket Australia said in a statement.
“In addition, the NSP has clarified the Australian squad for the T20 against India, with Nic Maddinson added to the squad.”
Clarke’s availability was in doubt for the series which starts with a T20 on October 10 followed by seven ODIs.
George Bailey will captain the ODI team in Clarke’s absence with Brad Haddin as his vice-captain.
“Michael was very keen to captain the ODI team to India but unfortunately he hasn’t progressed enough to be available for selection,” National selector John Inverarity said.
“His replacement is Callum Ferguson, whose form in 50-over cricket during the last Australian summer was impressive, scoring 271 runs at an average of 45 and a strike rate of 70 in the RYOBI Cup, along with an additional three matches for Australia ‘A’ against the England Lions in February scoring 149 runs in three innings at 49.66 with a strike rate of 91,” he said.
“In addition, the NSP has added Nic Maddinson to the squad for the T20 fixture. Nic showed some sparkling form on Australia ‘A’ tours during the winter. He will be in strong contention to open the batting with Aaron Finch in this game,” Inverarity said.
Commenting on Clarke’s injury, Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Clarke had a long-standing low back injury that requires “ongoing management”.
“During the recent England ODI series his injury flared up again and has been slow to improve with his regular treatment regime. Michael will therefore not be available to play the upcoming India ODI series and will require a more extensive rehabilitation period before returning to competitive cricket,” Kountouris added.
T20 squad: George Bailey (capt.), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Johnson, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Adam Voges and Shane Watson.
ODI squad: George Bailey (capt.), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Callum Ferguson, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, Adam Voges and Shane Watson.