AUSTRALIA's chances of salvaging a draw in the one-day international against Sri Lanka have been harmed by an injury that is likely to sideline captain Michael Clarke for Wednesday's series-ending match in Hobart.
Clarke sprained his ankle as the team completed fielding drills on Tuesday morning at Blundstone Arena. He was unable to bat in the nets session that followed, with team management conceding he was in "serious doubt" of featuring in the day-night match.
Vice-captain Shane Watson's continued absence from the team due to injury has left a vacancy for stand-in captain. The likely replacement would be Tasmania's George Bailey, who led Australia for the first two matches of the series while Clarke was rested.
If that occurred it would be the first match Bailey, Australia's full-time Twenty20 captain, had led his country in from of a home Tasmanian crowd. David Warner, an occasional interim vice-captain, would seemingly be the other possible contender.
Selectors have not added a replacement player to the 13-man squad, meaning Victorian Glenn Maxwell, 12th man for Australia's past two matches, would likely come into the team alongside fellow all-rounder Moises Henriques.
Queensland's Ben Cutting has joined the squad as an alternative seamer, should selectors choose to change their current first-choice combination of Clint Mckay, Mitch Starc and Mitch Johnson.