Australia's Michael Clarke believes that the game against Sri Lanka will be a tough battle for both sides
Can you just give an update on your injuries?
Look, I don't know at this stage. I'll have to train today with the boys and see how I pull up tomorrow. But I'm hopeful, there's no doubt about that. But yeah, I really need to wait and see how I pull up tomorrow morning after training again today.
Does it help that obviously it's a do‑or‑die situation? Does it help the team focus and prepare in a better way?
No, look, I think every game you play in this tournament you know you've got to play your best to have success, so our focus over the past three days has been about making sure we get ready to walk out there tomorrow and be able to execute our skills as well as we can.
I thought obviously the rain played a part yesterday, but a lot of the guys came and trained indoors. The day before, we trained really well as a team, and hopefully we get outside this afternoon and finish our preparation. But I know all the guys are looking forward to playing against Sri Lanka tomorrow.
George Bailey has done really well in the interim personally and as a captain, but the one thing that changes things is winning, right?
Yeah, look, I think George has done a great job. I think his performances personally over the past four months have been outstanding for us in one‑day cricket. He continues to lead from the front, and I think he's captained the team really well in my absence and will do again tomorrow if I'm unavailable to play.
But yeah, look, we're here to win. It's a do‑or‑die for us. We still wait on the result of the England versus New Zealand game today and work out, I guess, the scenario with run-rate and things like that. But the most important thing for us is we need to prepare to play as well as we can tomorrow night and try and win the game first and foremost and worry about the rest after that.
On your back, can you just give us an insight into what treatment you're having and are you confident you're going to be fit for the Ashes series?
Yes, I'm confident, but I've been confident that I'd play every game in this series, as well. So, you're probably asking the wrong guy. Look, it's just daily maintenance, daily physio, and I guess I'm at a stage now where I'm slowly getting back into my cricket training. I've been at training the last two days. My back is certainly improving, which is a positive. I just need to push it again today and see how far I can get, and if I pull up all right tomorrow, then hopefully the Australian cricketers will allow me to take the field tomorrow.
Mickey Arthur has talked about bringing a culture in your dressing room. Can you give us an insight into what he means? Are you happy that you do have a good culture in the dressing room and everyone is on the side?
Yeah, look, I think the feeling in the camp has obviously been a little bit different over the past few days because there's been a little bit of disappointment in one of our players with what's happened over the past week. But I can guarantee you we left it there after I did the press conference a couple of days ago now. We left it there as a team and now we look forward. Like I say, our focus has been preparation for this game against Sri Lanka and staying focused on what's important, and that's making runs, taking wickets and winning games of cricket. In regards to what Mickey was talking about, you'd have to ask Mickey. I wasn't involved in that press conference, so I didn't hear what Mickey had to say.
So there's no rift in the camp at all?
Not at all.
Can you talk a bit about the impact and the influence that Adam Voges has had on the team and what kind of influence he's had since he's come back in?
Yeah, look, I think Vogey brings a lot of experience firstly. He's a class player and has been in first‑class cricket for a long time. I think we've seen his ‑‑ well, his one‑day record for Australia is outstanding. I think he averages over 50. So I guess he's coming in trying to fill that Michael Hussey role batting and five and six for us, but also with the experience and leadership that he brings. He's a great guy, I love having him around and it's really nice to see him batting as well as he is at the moment.
Obviously Lasith Malinga always warrants a team thought. He has got a good concoction of slower yorkers these days, as well, and obviously has got a really good record against Australia.
Yeah, look, he's a fantastic bowler. Sri Lanka is a very good team, and we haven't picked out individual players. We've look at the opposition, we know who we're playing against. We've been fortunate enough to play a lot of cricket against Sri Lanka in the shorter form, and I think we've had some really tough battles, so I'm sure tomorrow will be no different.
Kevin Peterson is going to make a return. Can I get your thoughts on him being back with England, and are you pleased to see him back? Would you want to take on England without Kevin Peterson or is it a matter that you'd like to play England with their best players?
Is Kevin playing for Sri Lanka tomorrow?
No, he's not, no.
Then I'm not bothered right now. My focus is on Sri Lanka. I'll talk about Kevin Peterson when we play him. Thanks, guys.