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."

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

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue