Brisbane - Australian cricket officials are
still no closer to knowing whether Michael Clarke will be fit enough to play in
next year's World Cup.
Clarke's future remains uncertain after he
badly tore a hamstring during Australia's first test win over India last week.
He has already ruled himself out of the
three remaining tests and is facing a race against time to be ready for the
World Cup, starting in mid February.
"These are difficult circumstances
given Michael's injury and the fact that we don't know how long he will be out
of the game," Australian chief selector Rod Marsh said on Monday.
"What we do know is that it won't be
an overnight fix."
Clarke's prospects could depend on the
extent of the injury, the latest in a series of problems he has had with his
back and hamstrings.
He has already consulted with a specialist
who is expected to decide on the best way to treat the problem.
Cricket Australia announced on Monday that
Steve Smith would take over as the new test skipper, but no decision had been
made yet on the one-day team.
George Bailey is the current vice-captain
and has filled in for Clarke before whenever the skipper has been sidelined.
"The next 24 to 48 hours will give us
far better guidance on that process. But I think George Bailey has done a
fantastic job," Australian team performance chief Pat Howard said.
"We're No 1 in the world. He's led the
last two series, so all that was discussed."