Michael Clarke returns to the SCG nets; looks set to meet World Cup deadline
Injured Australian captain Michael Clarke returned to the nets at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday in a bid to quicken his recovery ahead of the upcoming World Cup. The 33-year-old has been out of action since the opening Test of the four-match series against India, where he suffered an injury to his right hamstring during India’s second innings and was ruled out of the remainder of the series.
He then underwent a successful hamstring surgery and also commentated for Channel Nine during the third Test at Melbourne. He faced throwdowns for 15 minutes in the nets before going back to the dressing room. The right-hander has also been ruled out of the ongoing tri-nation tournament that Australia are currently involved in, thereby handing over the captaincy reigns to George Bailey.
Clarke, however, has been named the Australian captain for the World Cup and has been given a deadline of February 21, the date on which Australia play their second World Cup game against Bangladesh at Brisbane, to return to the national set-up.
During the same first Test against India where Clarke injured his hamstring, he also injured his back while batting on day one but returned to bat on the next day and notched up his 28th Test match hundred. He didn't have the greatest of times in the series prior to the one against India, scoring just 20 runs in the two Tests versus Pakistan at the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Overall, he scored 429 runs in seven Tests in 2014 at an average of 35.75 with two centuries but had a disappointing time in ODI cricket, scoring 181 runs in 6 matches with just one fifty to his name.