Michael Clarke, who is having a troubled back, is racing against time to be fit for the fourth Test. On his availability for the match, Clarke said: ”Well, we’ll wait and see. I have another 24 hours, so I’ll make sure that I do everything I can today to make sure that my treatment is done right and I’ll see how I feel like in the morning. My fingers are crossed.’’
Elaborating further on his injury, Clarke said it was pretty hard to describe about the pain. “I’ve had back issues my whole career, since I was 17. It’s the same problem. I have a bulging disc at the moment. So it’s a regular maintenance and rehab to make sure that I do stay as fit and healthy as I can. And I’ve done so throughout my career. It was really sore during the last game. It’s improved over the past couple of days but it’s still not 100 percent.
When asked whether he was more bothered by pain or his team’s performance, he said, “Definitely my back! I don’t enjoy losing, now. But I think we’re trying everything we can as a team. We’re learning, we’ve improved throughout the series. We’ve seen individual players learn about their games in these conditions and try to adjust. I think we showed a lot more fight in the third Test, and I’m confident that we can go home with a win here.’
On return of Shane Watson, Clarke felt that his vice-captain was an important member of his team. “There’s no doubt about that. He’d be the first to say he probably hasn’t performed as well as he would have liked throughout this Test series, in the first two Test matches. But if Shane can come out here and play his best cricket, he’ll have a huge impact in this game, that’s for sure. He’s a very good player and somebody we love having out there with us.’’
Although his team was facing an embarassing 4-0 series loss, Clarke reiterated that it was a learning experience for his young players. “There’s always been new players in and around the group. It takes them time to learn and experience different conditions around the world. So this trip has been no different. I’ve been to India a few times, and I’ve only managed to win one Test series in my career. There have been some challenges, but I think the players would learn from them,” he said.