Cardiff: Australia captain Michael Clarke has suffered a recurrence of his chronic back problem and is doubtful for the series decider against England at the Ageas Bowl.
The visitors already know they will have to make one enforced change and it seems likely they will recall opener Phil Hughes in place of Shaun Marsh — who is ruled out after hurting his hamstring in the fourth match of five in Cardiff.
After England levelled the series at 1-1 there, Clarke is still hoping to play but will be allowed to do so only if he is thought fully fit. Coach Darren Lehmann spelled that out as he assessed Australia's selection options.
“It’s a big game. But if he’s not right, we won’t risk him,” Lehmann said of Clarke.
“It’s an important series, but we’ve got another one-day series (against India) and an Ashes series coming up.”
Meanwhile, England stand-in captain Eoin Morgan believes the momentum and belief is now firmly with the England team.
Morgan is confident that the dramatic three-wicket victory over Michael Clarke’s men at Cardiff on Saturday can be the turning point for even greater achievements.
“We can go into the match with real confidence and the feeling that we have a chance to win the series. And we must grab it with both hands,” said Morgan.
“If we win the fifth game, then it will have been a very successful summer not just for the Ashes team, but also the limited overs side. So it is a big match for us.
“We have so much potential and ability in this ODI squad. It’s a very young squad, which just needs time to develop.” (AFP)