Clarke plays down injury fears
Friday 12 November 2010
Australia Test vice-captain Michael Clarke is confident his stiff back won't affect his Ashes preparations despite failing to take the field for the final two sessions on day three of the Sheffield Shield clash between New South Wales against Victoria.
Clarke's chanceless century was the highlight of an otherwise disappointing day for NSW, underlining his importance to the national team ahead of the upcoming Test series against England.
The 29-year-old struck only four boundaries in his classy knock of 113 on a slow SCG outfield, and the running between the wickets took a toll as he was forced to sit out the remainder of the day.
But Clarke, who has battled back issues in the past, was quick to allay any fears the injury will keep him out of the opening Test against England at the Gabba beginning on November 25.
"I'm certainly not too concerned about it to be honest," Clarke said afterwards.
"I was just listening to the experts and doing what was right. I think it's more so because of what we've got coming up we wanted to be smart.
"It's just stiff, I just pulled up a little bit stiff.
"It was a bit sandy out there so it's a bit hard on your legs ... so we thought with what's coming up I'm better off doing all the right things.
"I had some treatment and I've got to see how it pulls up tomorrow morning, but hopefully it'll be right to get back out there again tomorrow."
Clarke added of his 348-minute stay at the crease: "Obviously any time you make a hundred is a great feeling, but more than anything else for me it was about spending as much time in the middle as I possibly could.
"So I was stoked with that, to be able to face so many balls and help contribute to the team as well."
Meanwhile, Australia spinner Nathan Hauritz made a welcome return to form, finishing with the respectable figures of two for 47 off 21 overs after taking the new ball in Victoria's second innings.
"I thought he bowled really well today," Clarke said of Hauritz's performance.
"Under pressure opening the bowling, I thought he bowled real well.
"And I thought he bowled pretty well the other day without too much luck. A couple of balls lobbed over fielders' heads, (and there were) a couple of dropped catches.
"I think he's slowly building momentum and his confidence is certainly growing.
"And I know he's certainly excited about this first Test match in Brisbane and hoping he gets selected, and I think if he continues to bowl the way he has in this game I think his results and his figures will look a lot different."
The Microsoft mogul told fans a few home truths during his Reddit AMA
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures