Sydney, Oct 20 (ANI): Australian captain Michael Clarke, who has been rested from the India ODI tour with his back issues, is reportedly back in contention for the Sheffield Shield season ahead of the winter Ashes series following a fitness appraisal.
Clarke is reportedly hoping to play in the first or second round of the Shield and could even be fit for the first-class season opener, against Tasmania at the SCG from October 30, with the first Ashes Test beginning at the Gabba on November 21.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, although Clarke is yet to return to full net training following the latest flare-up of his back injury, Cricket Australia (CA) team performance chief Pat Howard said that they are optimistic over his progress, although he added that they are being conservative at the moment because they do not want any risk.
The captain's improvement is a much-needed piece of good news for Australia, along with the encouraging return to action of crucial fast bowler Ryan Harris, who played his second Ryobi Cup game for Queensland since returning from England with a hamstring injury, the report added. (ANI)