Clarke considers options

  • Last Updated: December 7 2012, 8:40 GMT

Australia captain Michael Clarke is confident his injured back will come good in time for next week's first Test against Sri Lanka as he continues to ponder the batting order.

Clarke: Mulling his options
Clarke: Mulling his options

With Phil Hughes recalled to the side following Ricky Ponting's retirement, it was expected the left-hander would bat at number three, forcing Shane Watson down a spot.

But speaking at the Big Bash League launch for Sydney teams the Sixers and Thunder today, Clarke admitted the make-up of the batting line-up was still very much uncertain.

The fact that Hughes and Watson like to open, along with current openers Ed Cowan and David Warner, means the Aussies aren't short of options at the top of the order.

And Clarke said he is also open to moving from number five despite his stellar form in that spot over the past 18 months.

The New South Welshman has been weighing up the options over the last couple of days and is no closer to making a decision ahead of the match in Hobart next Friday.

"It's something I've been thinking about over the last couple of days and will speak to (coach) Mickey Arthur about it when I get into camp," Clarke told reporters.

"I'm not sure at this stage. We have some really good options.

"Hughesy can bat at three, Shane Watson's batted three for us and both those guys have opened the batting for Australia as well.

"I'm not sure as to where I'll bat. The number I bat doesn't bother me, it's about fitting in where's best for the team and where I can help the team have success.

"That's been my goal since taking over the captaincy and that won't change."

Clarke, who will miss the Thunder's BBL clash with the Sixers on Saturday night due to back soreness, said the issue is improving every day.

"I'm in the process of rehab this week and seeing my physio and getting treatment," he said.

"I'm confident if I keep doing all the right things I'll be right for the first Test."

One thing Clarke couldn't shed any light on was the make-up of the pace attack, with Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson vying for two spots alongside Peter Siddle.

"When somebody doesn't play in a match it gives someone else an opportunity and that's what has happened in Perth," the skipper said.

"Now we've got to work out what our best XI is for the first Test in Hobart, and we'll make that call closer to the game."


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