Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia captain Michael Clarke will play in the national team’s World Cup warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates in Melbourne on February 11 if he doesn’t have any problems during tomorrow’s training session.
Clarke, who is currently recovering from having his hamstring surgically repaired, has also played grade cricket and represented a Cricket Australia XI against Bangladesh in Brisbane last Thursday.
“Michael, if he gets through training tomorrow, hopefully he’ll play the trial game on Wednesday,” Lehmann told Fox Sports on Monday night. “So that’s a pleasing thing for us. He’s trained the house down…now it’s a case of getting up to speed with the fielding and away he goes from there.”
When asked for an update on all-rounder James Faulkner, who suffered a side strain during the ODI tri-series final against England in Perth on February 1, Lehmann said: “He’ll have a bat tomorrow in the nets. So he’s going okay. He won’t play the first game.”
Even though Clarke and Faulkner are likely to miss Australia’s World Cup opener against England on February 14, Lehmann made it clear that no other changes have been made to the squad.
“Everyone has them (injuries)…you just have to cope with it and deal with it,” Lehmann said. “We have some good depth. We have good players who have missed out, so that’s a good sign. If we have some injuries and we have to replace them, so be it. But at the moment they’re all ticking along nicely.”
In order to better understand the pressures of playing a World Cup on home soil, Lehmann recently spoke to members of Australia’s 1992 World Cup squad since that was the last time the marquee event was held in the Land Down Under.
“Just enjoy the whole eight weeks,” Lehmann said when asked what advice those players gave him. “We want to play the best cricket we possibly can and win as many games as we can, but at the end of the day we don’t look much further than the England game, then we move to the Bangladesh game, and then New Zealand and see what happens from there. But we’ll enjoy the packed houses and the crowd support.
“We’ll change the way we play, depending on where we play and who we play. At the moment our focus is the MCG, hopefully 90,000 people there watching us and supporting us. We’ll worry about playing England first and move from there – that’s the way you have to go through the World Cup. You can’t look too far ahead.”