Michael Clarke Passes World Cup Fitness Test

Cricket Australia XI v Bangladesh XI

Michael Clarke looks a near certainty to suit up in Australia’s first ICC World Cup game next weekend after surviving a one-day international practice match with the Cricket Australia XI against Bangladesh on Thursday.

Originally given until February 21 to prove his fitness, the Australian skipper made headlines earlier in the week when he participated in a lively net session. That turned into a planned appearance against Bangladesh at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field, where he produced a solid total of 34 runs from 36 deliveries and even had a stint with the ball.

The 33-year-old showed no signs of the hamstring and back complaints which have dogged him in recent months, running between the wickets at three-quarter pace during his 47-minute stay at the crease.

“I would have liked a few more runs but the body feels good and I have pulled up pretty well,” Clarke said.

“I’ve been bowling for the last three weeks in the nets.”

Clarke is off to Adelaide to join the rest of the World Cup squad, but says he likely won’t take part in Sunday’s World Cup warmup against India.

”There is a practice game against India in Adelaide which at this stage don’t think I’m playing,” Clarke added.

”At this stage the plan is for me to join the boys in Adelaide, fly with the boys to Melbourne and play the practice match against UAE.’’

Clarke was expected to potentially miss Australia’s World Cup opener against England at the MCG on February 14, but now looks likely to be declared fit for other Pool A fixtures against Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Scotland.

Photo: Chris Hyde/Getty Images.