Michael Clarke likely to play in 1st Ashes Test

Michael Clarke has been out of action with a back injury © Getty Images

Sydney: Jun 19, 2013

Bringing a ray of hope for the Australian team after their disastrous ICC Champions Trophy 2013 campaign, captain Michael Clarke is on course to play in the Ashes.

After missing all three Champions Trophy matches with recurring back problems, Clarke is set to play the first of two four-day warm-up games, against Somerset next week, before the first Test against England begins at Trent Bridge on July 10, News.com.au reports.

The report further said that the captain returns to the team as the best player in the world, the reigning Wisden Cricketer of the Year with 1595 runs with an average of 106 including four double centuries, something not even Donald Bradman achieved across the same period.

Stating that he is confident that Clarke will be fit for the five-Test series, chairman of selectors John Inverarity said that they are looking forward to having the captain, who is back training in the nets, return for the Ashes as his leadership is important for the team.

“We’re very much looking forward to him returning to the Ashes and his leadership is very important to us,” Inverarity said.

“We need him at the helm. He’s a very good captain and the troops are very much behind him and we miss him when he’s not there.”

According to the report, without Clarke, Australia finished winless and last in their group after going down to Sri Lanka at the Oval in the Champions Trophy, adding that it was a meek surrender for a team which had won the previous two tournaments and made it to the semi-finals of the two events before that.

This latest failure comes after a 4-0 series Test whitewash in India, which adds to a growing sense of foreboding heading into the Ashes with poor performances of the Australians on the field and poor behaviour off it.

(With inputs from ANI)