Cyclone threatens Michael Clarke’s Aussie return


Australia’s meteorology office has forecast an 80 percent chance of rain, with thunderstorms on Saturday when the game takes place at the Gabba.

“Beautiful sunshine at the moment, but I think that’s it for the day – we got a couple of days of wet weather,” Australia coach Darren Lehmann said Wednesday.

“We’ll work out what the best XI is once it clears up. It might be different with overcast conditions and we might decide to play a different way, and it depends on the wicket.”

The uncertainty over the weather has created doubts over Clarke’s scheduled return to the team after he missed last weekend’s 111-run opening win against England at Melbourne.

Stand-in skipper George Bailey is the man expected to make way for Clarke but it could be that the wild weather will leave the captain kicking his heels until Australia’s third game of the tournament, against fellow co-hosts and title contenders New Zealand in Auckland on February 28.

Lehmann insisted Australia’s selectors would not be influenced by outside “feedback” when they decide on who to drop ahead of the Gabba clash, with many critics demanding all-rounder Shane Watson be axed after his golden duck against England.

“You do listen to what’s being said but at the end of the day you have got to make the right call for that particular game,” Lehmann said.

“You get all the callers and all the feedback but you’ve got to make the right decision and we’ll always try and do that.”