Champions Trophy: Australian captain Michael Clarke could return to action for crucial clash with Sri Lanka

Clarke has missed both of their Champions Trophy games due to a back injury but is hopeful of playing some part in tomorrow's Group A decider

Australia captain Michael Clarke is hopeful of a return to action in Australia’s final Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka, which takes place tomorrow at the Oval, following a back injury.

Clarke has missed the Aussie’s opening two games of the championship, though he has had enough on his plate off the pitch having to deal with David Warner after the batman hit England’s Joe Root in a Birmingham bar following their opening defeat.

Despite Warner being suspended until the first Ashes Test on July 10, Clarke insists the squad have moved on from the incident.

"I'm hopeful, no doubt about that, but I really have to wait to see how I pull up tomorrow morning after training again today," he told a news conference on Sunday. "My back is certainly improving, which is a positive.

"The feeling in the camp has obviously been a little bit different...because of a little bit of disappointment in one of our players. We left it there as a team and we look forward."

There were fears among the Australian camp that Clarke could miss part of the Ashes, having suffered a similar back injury in the past. But the batsman insists he is confident in himself to be fit for the series.

"Yes I'm confident (of playing in all of the Ashes), but I was confident I'd play every game in this series so you are asking the wrong guy," he said.

Australia must beat Sri Lanka to stand any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, having already lost to England before their clash with rivals New Zealand was rained off.

Coach Mickey Arthur is yet to decide whether Warner will play a part in the first Test, as not only will he have had no cricket for over a month, he is worryingly out of form.

"We've got plans to give him some centre-wicket practice etc, but it would be (a risk to play him in the first Test) and I guess it's a chance for the other batsmen in the squad to step up in the first two practice games," explained Arthur.

"Because if they do that, they're likely start in the first Ashes Test."

He added: "We've got to give David (Warner) the best possible chance, the best possible preparation to be ready for the first Test match if we select him.

"He's now gone from the white ball to the red ball, so he's working daily on that."

Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen