Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke Matt King / Getty Images

Arthur claims Aussie team on track for Ashes showdown

DESPITE the humiliating 4-0 series loss to India, Australian coach Mickey Arthur does not believe wholesale changes are needed in the battle to regain the Ashes.

After arriving home in Perth, Arthur said his team was "firmly on track" for the showdown against England, adding he thought the line-up for the first Test in Nottingham in July would be very similar to that seen in India.

"I can't see too many changes. We felt that we took the best players possible to India," he said.

"Barring one or two guys that were struggling with slight injuries who will come back into the equation, and obviously we took a couple of guys that were pertinent to subcontinent conditions.

"But we feel that we had our best young batsmen there, no doubt about that, and to see them grow through the tour was fairly encouraging.

"We know that they have a bit of experience and are going to be better for it."

Arthur also revealed captain Michael Clarke has had scans on his back, with Cricket Australia confirming his current injury is an exacerbation of previous spinal problems.

Cricket Australia chief medical officer Justin Paoloni said Clarke's injury will need to be managed carefully.

"He still has pain with basic activities and is not back to full function as yet.

"He also has a hamstring injury that has been a concern for most of the summer and will complicate his return.

"Michael is having intensive rehabilitation for both his back and hamstring but is still 7-10 weeks away from returning to training and playing.

"We are confident that it will not affect his Ashes preparation but will know more over the coming weeks."

Clarke's intensive rehabilitation program will be overseen by the CA medical team and back specialists in Australia.



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