Sport Cricket He’s back: Clarke set to lead Aussies against UAE

He’s back: Clarke set to lead Aussies against UAE

Michael Clarke
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Michael Clarke is set to captain Australia for the first time in two months.

Clarke has recovered from hamstring surgery to the point where the side’s medical staff feel he is ready to play in Wednesday’s final World Cup warm-up game against the United Arab Emirates at the MCG.

Selectors have yet to indicate if Clarke is a serious chance of lining up in Saturday’s World Cup tournament opener against England at the same venue.

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Having been set a deadline of February 21 to be passed fit for the event, it is likely they will have Clarke on limited duties for a further week before facing Bangladesh in the second game on that date.

But having bowled and batted against Bangladesh last week while turning out for a Cricket Australia XI, the 33-year-old will again ramp up his intensity against the UAE.

“He’s our captain, so it’s great to have him back,” paceman Josh Hazlewood said on Tuesday.

“Every player does as much rehab as they can and as much as they can do off the field to try and get back.

“Hopefully he gets through tomorrow night.”

Coach Darren Lehmann suggested Clarke had been training “the house down”.

“Now it’s a case of getting up to speed with the fielding,” Lehmann told Fox Sports.

Clarke and Shane Watson, who returned from a hamstring injury on Sunday after missing three one-day internationals, were put through their paces at the MCG on Tuesday.

Both trained under the watchful eye of team physio Alex Kountouris.

James Faulkner, who is recovering from a side strain, batted in the nets.

“Pup (Clarke) is playing tomorrow night and Watson played the other day. We’re looking in pretty good shape,” Hazlewood said.

“Jimmy’s doing everything he can to get back as soon as possible.”


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