Australia news October 28, 2013

Clarke set for comeback from injury

ESPNcricinfo staff
57

Michael Clarke, the Australian captain, is poised to make a comeback from a back injury and lead New South Wales in their Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania, which starts on Wednesday in Sydney.

A team spokesman said Clarke, who was ruled out of Australia's ongoing ODI series against India with a longstanding back problem, will be subject to a fitness review before he can be made available for the game.

Clarke had wondered aloud whether he would miss the first Ashes Test against England that begins on November 21, but after intensive treatment for a degenerative disc condition, which has been an issue since he was a teenager, his prognosis has been good.

"Michael is progressing well and recently recommenced batting in the nets," Alex Kountouris, the Australian team physiotherapist, had said in a statement last week.

Clarke's back problem had flared up before Australia's final ODI against England in Southampton last month, at the end of an Ashes tour, which Australia lost 3-0.

He played in that game, but selectors were reluctant to take any more risks ahead of the home Ashes series, and ruled him out of the India tour.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jmcilhinney on October 28, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    It's good news for everyone that Clarke's fitness is improving. Personally, I would like to see both teams at full strength for the series and let the best team win. I think that England are quite capable of winning this series but it's by no means a done deal. A number of Australians have been disappointing but look to have more potential than they shown so if a couple of them hit their straps then Australia could be hard to stop. By the same token, England have some proven performers who had a poor series last time so it's a bit illogical to think that they will all repeat the dose. England also didn't get a great deal from their #2 and #6 and that may well change this series too. I think that we could be in for an excellent battle if both teams play well and having Clarke fit will be a big boost to Australia, both in terms of runs and psychologically. I've got tickets for day 3 in Brisbane and all days in Sydney so bring it on!

  • landl47 on October 28, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Good news for Australia and for cricket fans everywhere. Apart from his value to the side, Clarke is a wonderful batsman to watch; lovely strokeplay, always makes batting look easy, no real weaknesses except to the ball moving away on middle/off stump (a weakness he shares with almost every batsman out there). The series will be much better to watch with him in it- why does hardly anyone ever mention that?.

    If Clarke is fit, why wouldn't the selectors choose the same team as played in the last test in England, with one change: Johnson coming in as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Starc? That team played well and Faulkner hasn't done anything on the Indian ODI tour to hurt his chances. His batting seems to be coming on very well and as a bowler he can lessen the workload of Harris, Johnson and Watson.

    Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon. Subject to fitness, I'm guessing that's the team for the first test.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 28, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    If there is any doubt, he is better off to miss the 1st test and come back when he is 100% fit. The worst thing for Australia is to have him play half the test, be knocked out through injury, miss the rest of the season, and cost Australia the test. Much better if he waits until the 2nd test, and then Australia knows that they will do better in the 2nd than the 1st.

  • cricketfanwrites on October 29, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Michael Clarke should retire from all forms of the game except test and focus on his 'degenerative disc condition'. He is hands down the best test batsman. That said, his leadership qualities is less than desirable. Hence, his presence on and off the field when he is not batting will never be missed.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 29, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    @Myself / Mitty2: O.K. forgot about Tim Paine... I Read the other article about the A-squad after posting previous response; nice to see Paine FINALLY being tried ahead of Wade.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 29, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @Mitty2: in all seriousness, landl47's team is what I'd expect as well. Haddin is streaks ahead of the likes of Wade in my opinion, so if they replace Haddin throughout the series it will be one of the most ridiculous decisions ever made. Lyon should be allowed to play every test, and Haddin has kept well to him.

    By the way, I've never said anywhere that England were simply complacent in the last Ashes; Root failed (to an extent) because he should not be opening, and instead should be down in the middle with Bell. Honestly at the moment I'm feeling this series will expose Root (as an opener) even further, and the only reason I can fathom for bringing 32 year old Carberry is that ECB share those worries...

  • on October 29, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    If Australia want to persevere with the lights of Haddin and Rogers, then why not Bailey? he is just 30 odd and a fantastic player with great temperament, And i definitely think he can play Swann better than Hughes/Khawaja.. its a no brainer to me.. and Mitch has to play theres no doubt about that.. he was consistently racking up 150s in Indian pitches.. just think what he could do in Gabba or Perth

  • on October 29, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    If Australia want to persevere with the lights of Haddin and Rogers, then why not Bailey? he is just 30 odd and a fantastic player with great temperament, And i definitely think he can play Swann better than Hughes/Khawaja.. its a no brainer to me.. and Mitch has to play theres no doubt about that.. he was consistently racking up 150s in Indian pitches.. just think what he could do in Gabba or Perth

  • Mitty2 on October 29, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    @landl47, great comm, bit surprised though as you've always been critical of faulkner on these boards! But anyway, he won't be selected according to boof. Has to have a ripper two shield games to come into contention.

    @jmcilhinney, i really dont like the hypothetical talk of "potential" and 'underperforming' which is an extension of the infamous 'complacency'. Some eng fans have said, in an attempt to rub it in, that they underperformed and so if all's normal it should be 5-0. But that discounts Aus and the fact that all of siddle, patto, bird, clarke, haddin (with the bat), warner and cowan would have 'underperformed' under the same law. Trott, cook, prior, bairstow and root to a lesser extent were found out technically to executed bowling plans; not undeperformance. You can expect them to improve because they would have worked on that technical flaw, and NOT, becase it's just an aberration of underperformance and complacency.

  • Mitty2 on October 29, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK, as usual, I'm going to have to say that you're wrong. What are you on about? The only positions in doubt are 6 and who's the third seamer. Because every previous Aus player and commentator have pushed for Bailey's inclusion, and because he's not in the A team, it'll be either him or Hughes playing at 6, unless Khawaja scores high consistently. And unless Sayers or Cutting or another potential seamer truly dominates, there's a 99% chance that MJ will share the new ball with harris. 1. Warner (3 centuries in 8 days helps consolidate one's position) 2 rogers 3 watson 4 clarke 5 smith 6 bailey/hughes 7 haddin (will be replaced sometime in the series) 8 MJ (will be replaced after the first test with figures of 0/170 and then will be picked for Perth, win the game, and then get dropped) 9 siddle 10 harris 11. Lyon (will be dropped after match figures of 9/130 odd - whih would have been 11 if the keeper wasnt so terrible).

  • jmcilhinney on October 28, 2013, 23:04 GMT

    It's good news for everyone that Clarke's fitness is improving. Personally, I would like to see both teams at full strength for the series and let the best team win. I think that England are quite capable of winning this series but it's by no means a done deal. A number of Australians have been disappointing but look to have more potential than they shown so if a couple of them hit their straps then Australia could be hard to stop. By the same token, England have some proven performers who had a poor series last time so it's a bit illogical to think that they will all repeat the dose. England also didn't get a great deal from their #2 and #6 and that may well change this series too. I think that we could be in for an excellent battle if both teams play well and having Clarke fit will be a big boost to Australia, both in terms of runs and psychologically. I've got tickets for day 3 in Brisbane and all days in Sydney so bring it on!

  • landl47 on October 28, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Good news for Australia and for cricket fans everywhere. Apart from his value to the side, Clarke is a wonderful batsman to watch; lovely strokeplay, always makes batting look easy, no real weaknesses except to the ball moving away on middle/off stump (a weakness he shares with almost every batsman out there). The series will be much better to watch with him in it- why does hardly anyone ever mention that?.

    If Clarke is fit, why wouldn't the selectors choose the same team as played in the last test in England, with one change: Johnson coming in as a like-for-like replacement for the injured Starc? That team played well and Faulkner hasn't done anything on the Indian ODI tour to hurt his chances. His batting seems to be coming on very well and as a bowler he can lessen the workload of Harris, Johnson and Watson.

    Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Johnson, Siddle, Harris, Lyon. Subject to fitness, I'm guessing that's the team for the first test.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 28, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    If there is any doubt, he is better off to miss the 1st test and come back when he is 100% fit. The worst thing for Australia is to have him play half the test, be knocked out through injury, miss the rest of the season, and cost Australia the test. Much better if he waits until the 2nd test, and then Australia knows that they will do better in the 2nd than the 1st.

  • cricketfanwrites on October 29, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Michael Clarke should retire from all forms of the game except test and focus on his 'degenerative disc condition'. He is hands down the best test batsman. That said, his leadership qualities is less than desirable. Hence, his presence on and off the field when he is not batting will never be missed.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 29, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    @Myself / Mitty2: O.K. forgot about Tim Paine... I Read the other article about the A-squad after posting previous response; nice to see Paine FINALLY being tried ahead of Wade.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 29, 2013, 9:16 GMT

    @Mitty2: in all seriousness, landl47's team is what I'd expect as well. Haddin is streaks ahead of the likes of Wade in my opinion, so if they replace Haddin throughout the series it will be one of the most ridiculous decisions ever made. Lyon should be allowed to play every test, and Haddin has kept well to him.

    By the way, I've never said anywhere that England were simply complacent in the last Ashes; Root failed (to an extent) because he should not be opening, and instead should be down in the middle with Bell. Honestly at the moment I'm feeling this series will expose Root (as an opener) even further, and the only reason I can fathom for bringing 32 year old Carberry is that ECB share those worries...

  • on October 29, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    If Australia want to persevere with the lights of Haddin and Rogers, then why not Bailey? he is just 30 odd and a fantastic player with great temperament, And i definitely think he can play Swann better than Hughes/Khawaja.. its a no brainer to me.. and Mitch has to play theres no doubt about that.. he was consistently racking up 150s in Indian pitches.. just think what he could do in Gabba or Perth

  • on October 29, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    If Australia want to persevere with the lights of Haddin and Rogers, then why not Bailey? he is just 30 odd and a fantastic player with great temperament, And i definitely think he can play Swann better than Hughes/Khawaja.. its a no brainer to me.. and Mitch has to play theres no doubt about that.. he was consistently racking up 150s in Indian pitches.. just think what he could do in Gabba or Perth

  • Mitty2 on October 29, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    @landl47, great comm, bit surprised though as you've always been critical of faulkner on these boards! But anyway, he won't be selected according to boof. Has to have a ripper two shield games to come into contention.

    @jmcilhinney, i really dont like the hypothetical talk of "potential" and 'underperforming' which is an extension of the infamous 'complacency'. Some eng fans have said, in an attempt to rub it in, that they underperformed and so if all's normal it should be 5-0. But that discounts Aus and the fact that all of siddle, patto, bird, clarke, haddin (with the bat), warner and cowan would have 'underperformed' under the same law. Trott, cook, prior, bairstow and root to a lesser extent were found out technically to executed bowling plans; not undeperformance. You can expect them to improve because they would have worked on that technical flaw, and NOT, becase it's just an aberration of underperformance and complacency.

  • Mitty2 on October 29, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK, as usual, I'm going to have to say that you're wrong. What are you on about? The only positions in doubt are 6 and who's the third seamer. Because every previous Aus player and commentator have pushed for Bailey's inclusion, and because he's not in the A team, it'll be either him or Hughes playing at 6, unless Khawaja scores high consistently. And unless Sayers or Cutting or another potential seamer truly dominates, there's a 99% chance that MJ will share the new ball with harris. 1. Warner (3 centuries in 8 days helps consolidate one's position) 2 rogers 3 watson 4 clarke 5 smith 6 bailey/hughes 7 haddin (will be replaced sometime in the series) 8 MJ (will be replaced after the first test with figures of 0/170 and then will be picked for Perth, win the game, and then get dropped) 9 siddle 10 harris 11. Lyon (will be dropped after match figures of 9/130 odd - whih would have been 11 if the keeper wasnt so terrible).

  • cricketsubh on October 29, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    i think australia need to pick young players like maddison .and jo burns and build a team for the future .i canot see rogers playing 5 years for aus same with haddin so aus selector need to pick young players clarke and watson both 32 they canot play for another 7 8 year so aus need pick young players.

  • on October 29, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    What a shame Clarke is returning - Australia just look like they were finally on the up once again.

  • on October 29, 2013, 0:41 GMT

    I wonder if Clarke has looked into stem cell therapy much the same as Payten Manning had....?

  • Shaggy076 on October 28, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    Mitty2 - Yes I have ready the Ryobi form to international form comment in so many forums now, that I'm starting to believe that the Khawaja supporters actually believe it, isn't that scary. Yet apparantely the form of the likes of S Marsh, Klinger, White in the Ryobi don't get a mention - I do believe White was man of the series. I think the bowlers have been decided Johnson will join Harris, Siddle and Lyon in the first test. They have decided to keep the fumbling Haddin as a keeper. Clarke, Watson and Rogers are givens. Smith can't be dropped on his last test in England which leaves two spots available. I'm pretty sure that they like Warner in Australia leaving one final spot. That will be decided over the next couple of weeks but leading candidates must be Bailey, Hughes, Klinger, Khawaja and the smoky being Voges. The extra player in the squad will likely be Faulkner for 12th man.

  • wellrounded87 on October 28, 2013, 22:36 GMT

    @ Mark Boulle

    Really you'd leave out Harris, easily our best bowler in the last Ashes series?

    It looks like you've picked a ODI side. Lynn, Bailey and Voges have no business in red ball cricket and unless the conditions are really suited for swing neither does Johnson.

    Cutting deserves a go but the problem is none of the bowlers deserve to be dropped though Siddle seems to be past his best so there might be an opening if he doesn't perform.

  • wellrounded87 on October 28, 2013, 22:31 GMT

    I think Dave Warner is a must inclusion for the first test. A lot of people want to leave him out and i think that's a horrible idea. David Warner is one of 3 players Australia have who can play a game winning innings. And he's done it already against India in Perth and damn near did it against NZ in Hobart. His form is good of late and if he can translate his Aus A, Ryobi cup form into Test form we stand a very good chance of winning the Ashes.

    My XI at this stage is 1. Rogers 2. Warner 3. Watson 4. Khawaja/Maddinson/Hughes (pending shield performances) 5. Clarke 6. Smith 7. Paine (let's face it haddin is average with the bat and average with the gloves) 8. Pattinson (if fit if not Bird or Sayers in at 11 move Siddle, Harris and Lyon up) 9. Siddle 10. Harris 11. Lyon 12th Man Sayers

    Johnson only comes into consideration for Perth test and a 4 man pace attack or if we get hit bigtime with injuries.

  • on October 28, 2013, 20:33 GMT

    Australian cricket is in the toilet because of Management and Leadership .... and, I believe, that some of this has to be the responsibility of Michael Clarke.

    The incessant selecting of NSW Players with a few substandard state players over recent years is pathetic.

    Some commenters state that we should wait until the first few rounds of Sheffield Shield is played and ignore the OD games, and the fact that NSW were beaten twice by Queensland in the RC. Well guess what .... last year Queensland beat NSW, that was full of International players, in one of the first games of the season ..... And that was without Harris!!!

    What we should do is keep with the same selectors, team and management group!!!

    Can we just stop making the same mistake again and again and again?? Can we stop selecting batsmen who simply cannot bat consistently at the necessary standard?? Can we start selecting a team, not a group of individuals??

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 28, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    That's good news indeed. A fit Clarke at least = one position sorted; only another 10 to go! I hope he doesn't buy into all this nonsense about moving up to 3... With only the likes of Warner in all likelihood opening, that's one quick wicket down which would effectively mean Clarke opening every innings. Clarke is not a good opener... Mind you, if Hughes comes in at 3 as well, that's another quick wicket so Clarke still has to effectively open.

  • hhillbumper on October 28, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    Clarke will still be bouncer bait and then bowl one at his stumps.If his footwork is as bad as the last series then he makes Watson look stable

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on October 28, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    It's great that Clarke may come back as Australia need him at the helm so that when the Ashes are lost yet again the natural replacement for him, Phil Hughes, is waiting in the wings and ready to step in.

  • wickedballs on October 28, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Sorry Front-Foot- Sponge; ODI players are selected by television producers for TV time slots and advertisers, the formality of picking teams is by boards. Inclusions vary from known names (odd test players), controversial names, crowd favourites, product endorsing players. Naff said.

  • Wayne_Larkins_Barnet on October 28, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Wickedballs, look at all the teams and you will notice players across all three formats. Nuff said.

  • wickedballs on October 28, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Please stop talking up players who perform in ODIs as test players. Restrictions such as easy placement for a single run, lack of attacking fieldsmen, bowlers restricted in what they are allowed to bowl, different rules at different stages of an innings, fielders out on the boundary , part time bowlers in use, fine leg up mid-off back, fielders sitting on the 30 yard circle, death bowling, anything down leg a wide, stack teams of all-rounders, throw your bat with the fielding restrictions up, spinners firing it in at leg stump, fake wicket keepers selected ect ect ect ect. It is really manufactured cricket. Test cricket is a more pure form of cricket, the players apply high levels of skills over a 5 day and use their technical ability and ODIs are quickly a pass memory.

  • Mitty2 on October 28, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    @myself, whoops, meant to say: "if we lose the first test we lose the Ashes"

  • Mitty2 on October 28, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    @Beertjie, Quiney was purely there to protect Hughes/fill in for Watson, they knew it was an experiment and if he failed he would be discarded immediately. Quiney made no ultimate difference to the series - we were going to lose anyway. If Hughes had played at 3 and scored a century in every innings it still would've been the same results in Adelaide and Brisbane, and obviously Perth (a less heavier loss). For this reason I give credit to the selectors, they couldn't choose a future prospect, they had to choose a 30 year old fringe player in good form. If we do this with Bailey, we won't lose anything as Hughes/Khawaja aren't ready but can replace him immediately if he fails. Bailey is right handed (it's that important), and we all know of his superior qualities. Leadership, international experience (actually prospered), temperament and a positive influence on other players. Technically sound and as talented as Usman or other potentials, he would be the perfect fit.

  • Mitty2 on October 28, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    Featured comment, why? @Ozcricketwriter, no, Clarke can't miss the first test at all costs. If we don't win the first test we lose the Ashes. Mark my words. If Clarke was 50% he still has to play. England's team is more accomplished, more experienced and most would say more talented and skilled, and if we give them the first test you can bet your house that they're not losing it from there. Clarke has missed one test in all of his 97 tests... He's had his back problems the whole time, he knows how to manage himself and he wouldn't be playing in the Shield at all if that's what would make him 100% to play in the first test.

    @Mitch1066, good point, especially considering that they're all class batsmen. However, nothing could be more disastrous than what Mitchell Johnson was back in 2010/11. He's got a better action, is high on confidence, but he's not exactly mentally strong and if he cracks we're gone. Too much of a risk factor imo - we're better placed than most think anyhow

  • Mitty2 on October 28, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    @edwards_anderson: "Its actually easier to bat on the bowling graveyards in India then on our pitches here for Ryobi so all credit to Warner and Khawaja for scoring in our conditions. " ..... Do you not realise how many wrongs there are in that sentence???

    Let's just clear a few things up as to why your so, so wrong:

    1. Playing for Australia = 20 times the pressure playing for your state, 2, International bowlers vs domestic bowlers 3. The Ryobi grounds have been much smaller and have barring the first few week have all been roads, 4. Foreign conditions vs home conditions you've grown up in, 5. India is the number one ODI side in the world - who'd win out of Queensland and India..?

    Pushing a Khawaja agenda is really getting desperate these days. If he doesn't score in the Shield watch out...

  • Sunil_Batra on October 28, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    Amazing how folks are picking their teams without any shield games to go on. I will make my team but only on prediciton of how shield performances will go and it could be Rogers, Khawaja, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Klinger, Haddin, Sayers, Siddle, Harris, Lyon

  • Sunil_Batra on October 28, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    @edwardanderson i like your team. I would go for Rogers, Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith but all depends on early shield runs. Khawaja only had 3 games in UK in which he top scored in Lords and got a howler in Manchester. Compared that to 19 in a row fo Cowan and 8 in a row for Hughes before he was dropped so if anyone deserves an extended run its Khawaja assuming he can take his ryobi form into shield. Clarke has to ensure that he doesn't do any damage to his back in the shield games, take it game by game as we need him firing in the ashes.

  • on October 28, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    I would include Cutting and Lynn, these are quality batsmen of class way greater than the likes of SSmith. I would also pick Voges and Bailey so something like Warner, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Voges, Lynn, Haddin, Cutting, Johnson, Pattinson, Lyon (Starc, Agar, Khawaja)

  • drpramit on October 28, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    smith has played well so far but what he lacks most is a big inning, so inclusion of bailey at 5 or 6 is must. Watson's batting position is again doubtful but he must play at least first 2 test matches in the middle order. we have seen Cowan, Khwaja, Hughes struggling in Eng so spot of no. 3 is again a matter of concern. Why not try some one like Aron Finch in test matches, he is in a supreme form & he is not just a slogger, he has some class as well.

  • Edwards_Anderson on October 28, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    @Ramespd like you i am a big fan of our young blokes doing well in Ryobi, Warner and Khawaja in particular have done well and in my opinion will translate thieir form into shield and get into the Brisbane test. Its actually easier to bat on the bowling graveyards in India then on our pitches here for Ryobi so all credit to Warner and Khawaja for scoring in our conditions. Rogers, Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke, Smith is my tip for Brisbane. I am really glad to see Clarke coming back into shield earlier then expected.

  • Beertjie on October 28, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    All the Bailey fans should consider NSP's premise. They have Haddin as stand-in skipper should injury remove Pup. Haddin is committed to the WC and would be expected to lead in Pup's absence until then. The immediate goal is to regain the Ashes. To do so the best XI for the conditions need to be selected. Quiney was a shock selection based on assessment of his form over the previous seasons. If one were to do that Bailey would not be selected. However, it became evident that that parameter is flawed. Anyway no batsman has done too well in previous seasons. Now the NSP are picking after 2 games. Do they restrict their choice to those who toured England or pick on the basis of form in the 2 games plus whatever one is to make of form over previous seasons. If they opt for the latter (and not of course knowing the form of prospective picks in these two games), their list may include Ferguson, Doolan, Voges but perhaps not Bailey and Hussey. If the latter do well, they deserve consideration

  • Mitch1066 on October 28, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    Only problem relying on bowling plans to limit opposition is there chance specially with two series so close that batsmen working out bowling plan and working technique out to stop these plans . Australia need there batsmen get over 45o in every test to even stand chance regardless of what bowlers do .

  • Mitty2 on October 28, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Great news. Most people are getting really excited for the start of the Shield and we all know these first few rounds will decide who will line up at Brisbane. Clarke's lack of injury will only add to the expected quality and competitiveness.

    As a digression to talk about the shield: the best thing we can hope for is accurate, swing bowlers such as Sayers and Hilfenhaus take wickets, maybe even over the likes of Hazlewood and Cutting, and especially Johnson, as I think England have in part been exposed by bowling tight lines and lengths with plans to each batsmen (with the failure of Bell). Eng didn't make above 400 once, and only Bell had a consistent series - we want the types of bowlers who can execute these plans if we want to win, and despite MJ's form there's no doubt that he and collective bowling plans don't work together. We can't have a MJ handing all the momentum away from us from one disastrous spell... But then again the last Ashes test we won was because of him!

  • xtrafalgarx on October 28, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    @Jono Makim. It's just that he could be a ticking time bomb and we don't know it. I just think, well, looking forward 2 years you would have to say Rogers and Hadds are gone. At which time Watto and Clarke would be the senior players closing into the danger zone of 35 years of age. And with their injury woes, who is the senior player then? That's why i too, am starting to warm up to the idea of bailey at least he could be a senior player at that time.

  • Mitch1066 on October 28, 2013, 8:24 GMT

    I for one want strong Aussie team face us english for ashes . However I don't think it make that much difference as if England batting shines then I carnt see Aussies out batting england . Johnson siddle pattingson starc are good bowlers though and Lyon best spinner for now . He may one day prove be top notch who knows . I still say England with Anderson broad Bresnan swann Finn tremlett rankin paneasar good bowlers two . England have more balanced batting side once find number six they be much harder to beat .

  • Dangertroy on October 28, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    @Diane_Skinner - His bad back is more to blame on the fact that he has been carrying the other batsmen for the past few years. @ shix - Watson gave up the vice captaincy after the India tour.

    Best of luck to Clarke, I hope the shield matches let him get some time in the middle and don't injure him any further. I join the calls for Bailey to lead the ODI team permanently, Clarke should be saved for tests.

    Get Bailey in the test side - If Clarke is to retire prematurely due to injury, Bailey would be a good stop gap leader for a few years until someone like Smith matures.

  • PrasPunter on October 28, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    For once, I am not gonna be part of the Clarke-bashers club for sure. Wondering why we don't accept thr fact that individuals are different, they have different styles, mindsets, lifestyle and what not. Pretty unfair to compare them. All the brick-bats that Pup gets now from a lot of ex-players will evaporate in thin air the moment he wins the Ashes. Go Pup !!

  • on October 28, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    I reckon Bailey might be worth a go but not as vice-captain - yet. Let him settle into the side and when Haddin retires or is moved aside, Bailey mght end up captain until Smith takes the reins.

  • Ramsespd on October 28, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Clarke needs to give up all short form cricket on concentrate only on tests. His back wont get any better so better to prolong your test career rather than have another 18 months of all cricket.

    Bailey deserves a test cap, his ODI record is very impressive, his leadership immaculate and I'll take runs at international level ahead of domestic any day of the week. Rather than talk about Warner or Khawaja to come in based off Ryobi cup form I think it's best to wait until the Shield starts to see if they can maintain their form playing on proper grounds as opposed to the Sydney Mickey Mouse grounds used for the Ryobi cup

  • shix on October 28, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    bailey should be the vice captain of australian test team from this ashes. he should bat at no.5, while clarke at no.3 and watson at no.4, so that watson can manage his work load by giving up his vice capatain cy o george. hughes and warner shoud open the bat and steven smith at no.6. this line up will surely work this time against poms.

  • hycIass on October 28, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    Has there been a more exciting start to the shield season, Khawaja, Warner and Bailey fighting it out for 2 remaining spots, Johnson, Cutting, Sayers, Hazelwood figting for the 3rd seamer spot. I know the folks in India will miss the first round of shield but will be back for the second shield game, can't wait for the games to start on wednesday.

  • Amith_S on October 28, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    So glad to see Clarke back, this firms up our batting order further. Warner and Khawaja have done their chances no harm with excellent Ryobi batting and if they find form in shield we could have Rogers, Warner, Watson, Khawaja, Clarke and Smith as the top 6. Also I don't think the surprise factor is really an issue. We are talking about a 5 test series here. So if the surprise factor was a big thing, then playing more than one test in the series would be an issue. As we really want to pick a bowler who can hopefully play, and do well, in all 5 tests, then that can't really be a factor and as such i am in favour of putting Johnson in the Aus A game to see if he can do some damage against the POMs.

  • on October 28, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, you can't be serious? The bloke has been scoring centuries almost at will over the last two years, even if he only played half the matches possible he could still have a big impact.

    I have to say though I'm warming to the idea of Bailey coming in and taking on the Vice Captaincy, by modern standards he still has a lot of cricket in him and if he can bring the same poise and character to the test scene that he has to the ODI's then he'd more than warrant a place in the team at five or six. I'm not so fussed on his record but he is a matured cricketer now and may just adapt far better than any of us could imagine. I don't see him having the same mental barriers that some of our younger batsmen have.

  • on October 28, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Play tests ONLY, his replacement in the one dayers is doing just fine. If only we could get his ego to understand that.

  • on October 28, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    I wish michael the best of luck.It'snot surprising he has back problems..they have been back biting him ever since he's been captain Ponting has shown that he had no loyalty to him in the dressing rooms..this is why ex captains should retire and not be a divisive influence in the team!! clarke has twice the vision that Ponting ever had

  • MohammedPadela on October 28, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Clarke- A man with great character and with good leadership skills. Unfortunately back problem have kept him out more frequently. In the previous Ashes he looked in good touch and is the only man who can lead Australia in Test matches. This Ashes might be more interesting than the previous two, which were more like one sided. The batting order looks more strong with Bailey, Watson, Clarke and Hughes looking in good touch in the ongoing ODI series in India.

    Good Luck Pup.

  • PrasPunter on October 28, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx , sooner or later, he is gonna do it, from the looks of how things currently are. I dont see him playing beyond 2015 WC. Time to get Bailey in and make him the VC.

  • on October 28, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    make baily as captain to test also

  • GURBAXX on October 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    baily should given a chance in test matches also

  • GURBAXX on October 28, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    clarke's presense will make th diffrence .

  • on October 28, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Good Luck Clarke. Go get them!

  • xtrafalgarx on October 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    I had read that Kountoris said that Clarke is now a test by test proposition. If that is really the case, then it might be better in the long run for Clarke to just call it curtains now. As good a player as he is, i don't think we could afford an in and out batsman in test. If not, they he must seriously consider giving up even ODI's, not sure how much longer he is going to hold on.

  • PrasPunter on October 28, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Real good news. Without Pup, don't think we stand a chance to reclaim Ashes. Good luck Pup !!

  • humi_cric on October 28, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Great, love to see him back in action in Ashes. Class player

  • ShutTheGate on October 28, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Great news. That's made my day. Let's hope he stays fit for the summer.

  • ShutTheGate on October 28, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Great news. That's made my day. Let's hope he stays fit for the summer.

  • humi_cric on October 28, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Great, love to see him back in action in Ashes. Class player

  • PrasPunter on October 28, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Real good news. Without Pup, don't think we stand a chance to reclaim Ashes. Good luck Pup !!

  • xtrafalgarx on October 28, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    I had read that Kountoris said that Clarke is now a test by test proposition. If that is really the case, then it might be better in the long run for Clarke to just call it curtains now. As good a player as he is, i don't think we could afford an in and out batsman in test. If not, they he must seriously consider giving up even ODI's, not sure how much longer he is going to hold on.

  • on October 28, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Good Luck Clarke. Go get them!

  • GURBAXX on October 28, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    clarke's presense will make th diffrence .

  • GURBAXX on October 28, 2013, 6:06 GMT

    baily should given a chance in test matches also

  • on October 28, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    make baily as captain to test also

  • PrasPunter on October 28, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx , sooner or later, he is gonna do it, from the looks of how things currently are. I dont see him playing beyond 2015 WC. Time to get Bailey in and make him the VC.

  • MohammedPadela on October 28, 2013, 6:37 GMT

    Clarke- A man with great character and with good leadership skills. Unfortunately back problem have kept him out more frequently. In the previous Ashes he looked in good touch and is the only man who can lead Australia in Test matches. This Ashes might be more interesting than the previous two, which were more like one sided. The batting order looks more strong with Bailey, Watson, Clarke and Hughes looking in good touch in the ongoing ODI series in India.

    Good Luck Pup.