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Injured Clarke is doubtful

Melbourne: Australia captain Michael Clarke has suffered a hamstring injury during Friday’s training in Harare and is doubtful for their first ODI against Zimbabwe on Monday.

Clarke, who has had a five-month rest since leading Australia to the 2-1 Test series triumph in South Africa, experienced pain in his left hamstring while training, a report on Cricket Australia’s website said.

“We will monitor his condition closely over the next 24 hours to see how he responds to further treatment before making a decision on his management,” team physiotherapist David Beakley said in Harare.

Vice-captain George Bailey will lead Australia if Clarke misses the first match of the triangular series, also featuring South Africa.

Top order batsman Phillip Hughes, a late replacement in the Australia squad for injured all-rounder Shane Watson, could take Clarke’s place in the side.

Clarke, 33, has a history of chronic back problems which affected him at the start of last year’s Ashes tour, and earlier this year he copped a physical battering from South Africa's pace attack - playing through shoulder and finger damage.