Clarke’s recovery ‘ahead of schedule’

2015 World Cup

Australia captain Michael Clarke is confident of playing a big part at the World Cup next month, on home soil, saying that his hamstring injury is recovering quicker than expected.

Clarke had surgery three weeks ago, after picking up yet another injury while playing in the first Test against India in Adelaide. It ruled him out of the series, and he's expected to miss Australia's first two group matches.

Speaking during day two of the fourth Test at the SCG, Clarke said: "It's going well, it's feeling really good. I'm slowly getting back into my running, but I'm not running too quickly.

"I'm three weeks post-surgery yesterday and I'm happy, the surgeon is extremely happy and the Australian medical staff are happy.

"I just have to make sure I don't do too much and progress as slowly as I need to. But as it is, I'm ahead of schedule and everyone is extremely pleased."

While Clarke has been away recovering, the Test side has been led by Steve Smith, who was named as stand-in ahead of Brad Haddin. Smith has been a revelation in the role, as well as with his batting, but will not mind handing the job back to Clarke.

Smith said: "I'm only temporary at the moment. It's Michael's team and when he comes back he can jump straight back in there.

"He hasn't really been around the team while he's been out, so he's left it up to me and I've really enjoyed the responsibility and taking control of this team in his absence.

"It's nice to have had some success at the same time and hopefully we can close out the final Sydney Test match in a good fashion."