By: Reuters | February 5, 2015 1:25:23 pm
Australia captain Michael Clarke continued his push to prove his fitness ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup by bowling two overs and fielding in multiple positions in a warm-up match against Bangladesh on Thursday.
The 33-year-old has until Australia’s second match of the tournament, against Bangladesh on Feb. 21, to prove his fitness after surgery on a torn hamstring.
He played a club game in Sydney at the weekend and then turned out for the Cricket Australia XI against the Bangladeshis at Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Thursday.
Clarke had expected to play just a limited part in the game, but bowled two overs of his left arm spin and was fielding in the slips and on the boundary.
His hamstring was well tested as he took a low catch in the slips to dismiss Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan and spent two hours in total on the field, though he was expected to bat.
Fitness has not been the only issue for Clarke, with Australian media reporting he could lose the captaincy to either stand in George Bailey or test skipper Steve Smith.
Coach Darren Lehmann and Clarke have both said in recent days it was not an issue, while opening batsman Aaron Finch added the team would not have a problem following any of the three men at the Feb. 14 – March 29 tournament.
“I don’t think it makes much difference to the players – we’ve played under them all,” Finch told reporters in Melbourne earlier on Thursday.
“Michael has done an unbelievable job for a long time and so has George in one-day cricket.”
“Steve is just starting out in his captaincy career – I suppose it’s important that we don’t let it distract us.
“From the players’ point of view, I don’t think it will.”