Clarke hopes to tour India

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The Independent Online

Newly appointed Australia Twenty20 captain Michael Clarke says he still has a chance of taking part in the final stages of the upcoming seven-match one-day international series in India.

The 28-year-old, who was officially handed the reins of the Twenty20 side on Friday following Ricky Ponting's decision to retire from the game's shortest form, is still recovering from the ongoing back complaint which cut short his ICC Champions Trophy campaign last month.



Clarke resumed light training on Monday and is confident he is on track to return before the conclusion of the seven-match series, which gets under way in Vadodara on October 25 and concludes in Mumbai on November 11.



"It's going okay, I had a bit of a jog this morning which is fantastic," Clarke said of his troublesome lower back.



"It's good to get out of the house and get back into the gym but at the moment I'm having regular physio, I'm going pretty slow and steady to be honest but I'm confident that I can continue building on my progress and try and get right as soon as possible.



"I hope I can get over to India and take part in this one-day series. I'd really like to go there even if it's the last couple of games to help the boys out there and also as preparation leading up to the first Test match (against the West Indies in November) in Brisbane.



"But I'm in a position where I'm not willing to risk coming back too early because I want it to be 100% right before I start doing too much."



Clarke concedes he'll need to continue to manage the injury for the remainder of his career but is confident he won't require radical surgery.



"I certainly haven't considered surgery at this stage," he said.



"I'm seeing a physio who specialises in backs and she's been fantastic and at this stage we're very confident that I'm not going to need surgery."



Meanwhile, Clarke welcomed the challenge of leading the Australian Twenty20 team into the future, conceding it is yet to reach its full potential in the format.



"I'm honoured, it's fantastic for me to get this opportunity and I just want to try and make the most of it," he said.



"I think our performances in Twenty20 cricket have been a little bit inconsistent over the last probably 12 to 24 months and it's an area of our game that we're trying to work hard on."



Asked how he plans to turn Australia's Twenty20 fortunes around, Clarke said: "I definitely think playing as much together as possible is a great start.



"I believe we've got a lot of talent and I think the group of guys that have all played a part in the Twenty20 to date have all got the potential and the talent to play that form of the game.



"Getting to know your team-mates is a huge part of international cricket and unfortunately you get one or two games here and there and then we've got other forms of the game to play.



"But now it's important that we really focus on those individual games and we make sure we're not only getting to know each other but we're giving 100% and trying to win every game we play."



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