Clarke keeps recovery on course

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Published: Thursday 5th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Australia captain Michael Clarke continued his comeback from hamstring surgery with a successful appearance for a Cricket Australia XI on Thursday, but feels he is not yet ready to play a one-day international.

The 33-year-old fielded for 32 overs, bowled two overs of left-arm off-spin and batted for 47 minutes – making 34 from 36 deliveries, including six fours – against a Bangladesh XI at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

He heads to Adelaide on Friday to link up with his Australia team-mates ahead of the World Cup, but does not think he will make the line-up for Sunday’s first official warm-up match against India.

“The ideal world was to field for at least half the game,” he said. “I managed 32 overs, which was nice.

“The body feels good, I just got a bit more treatment now but I pulled up pretty well.

“I would have liked a few more runs.

“At this stage I don’t think I’m playing that match (against India). The plan is for me to join the boys in Adelaide, fly with the boys to Melbourne then play the practice match against the UAE (in Melbourne on Wednesday).”

Clarke’s official deadline to prove his fitness remains Australia’s second World Cup pool match, against Bangladesh on February 21 at the Gabba, and he is pleased with the progress he is making.

“I’ve been bowling for the past three weeks in the nets,” he said.

“The (CA XI) skipper (Ashton Turner) needed a couple of overs so he asked if I was happy to bowl and I was certainly happy to bowl a couple of overs there. Then to have a bat as well – it was another step forward.

“My opinion, I think there’s probably still a gap between where I am now and playing a one-day international for Australia.

“The fortunate thing is I’ve got plenty of time to close that gap.”

Australia begin their World Cup campaign against England in Melbourne on February 14.

Published: Thursday 5th February 2015 by The News Editor

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