Still not ready for ODI cricket: Michael Clarke
Brisbane, Feb 5 - Injury-plagued Michael Clarke, here on Thursday, passed the latest milestone set for him by Cricket Australia's medical staff, but the skipper has said he's not yet ready to play a One-Day International (ODI).
Clarke said he had been set a target of fielding a minimum of 25 overs for a Cricket Australia XI in Thursday's unofficial warm-up match against a Bangladesh XI at the Allan Border Field.
In fact, he was on the ground for 32 overs - more than two hours - before coming off, and bowled two overs of left-arm orthodox spin.
"The ideal world was to field for at least half the game. ?I managed 32 overs which was nice," Clarke was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"Then to have a bat as well - it was another step forward. My opinion, there's probably still a gap between where I am now and playing a one-day international for Australia. The fortunate thing is I've got plenty of time to close that gap."
The 33-year-old scored 34 runs with the bat in hand. His innings came in a 47-minute stay at the crease before he fell to the leg-spin of Sabbir Rahman, edging behind. It followed his half-century for West Australia in grade cricket, during which he batted for more than three hours.
"The body feels good, I just got a bit more treatment now but I pulled up pretty well."
Clarke's official deadline to prove his fitness remains Australia's second World Cup pool match, against Bangladesh on February 21 at the Gabba.
He looks to be well on track to meet that target after proving his fitness by batting, fielding and even bowling two tidy overs that leaked only six runs.
"I've been bowling for the past three weeks in the nets. The (CA XI) skipper (Ashton Turner) needed a couple of overs so he asked if I was happy to bowl. I was certainly happy to bowl a couple of overs there," said Clarke.
Clarke flies to Adelaide on Friday as Australia's World Cup squad assembles ahead of Sunday's first official warm-up match against India at the Adelaide Oval.
"At this stage I don't think I'm playing that match (against India)," said Clarke.
"The plan is for me to join the boys in Adelaide, fly with the boys to Melbourne then play the practice match against the United Arab Emirates (in Melbourne Wednesday)."
Clarke's match activity will be governed by Cricket Australia's physiotherapist, Alex Kountouris, and Dr. Peter Brukner.