Adelaide: An injury-ravaged Michael Clarke may have raised doubts about his future by stating that he may never play again, but Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann is confident that the inspirational skipper will be back sooner or later.
"I think he will be back. You have your fingers crossed, we will wait and see," Lehmann told reporters before heading for Brisbane for the second Test against India starting December 17.
Clarke had created quite a flutter yesterday by saying that his cricketing future has been thrown into jeopardy due to nagging back and hamstring injuries because of which he had limp off the field on the final day of the opening Test against India.
The hosts won the match by 48 runs but were left to stress over their influential skipper's fitness.
The 33-year-old is already out of the ongoing Test series against the Indians and Lehmann refused to discuss on the possibility of his return for the ODI World Cup scheduled in February-March here and in New Zealand.
"He (Clarke) knows he needs to be fully fit for one-day cricket. He was magnificent in this (first) Test and he's been magnificent the last few weeks. But he needs to get it (his fitness) right, we know that, he knows that. One-day cricket is an explosive game and we need guys fully fit all the time," Lehmann said.
Shaun Marsh has been added to the team as Clarke's replacement along with pacer Mitchell Starc. Asked if the bowling line-up could be tinkered with to rest the attack which played in Adelaide, Lehmann was non-committal.
"...We'll have to see how they all pull up. If they are 100 per cent (fit) they play. A couple of them are a little bit sore but in the next day or two we'll know. It's a quick turnaround," Lehmann said.
"(Peter Siddle was) a little bit unwell in the first innings, (and did not bowl a lot in India's) second innings, but that's the nature of the game sometimes," Lehmann said.
Vice-captain Brad Haddin is the favourite to take over captaincy in place of Clarke in the remaining matches of the series.