England not dead yet

Australian batsman Michael Clarke speaks for his national side teammates when he says that he hopes England manages to field a strong side for the Ashes.

But he also said that if the old enemy's horrid run with injuries continues and key players are unable to compete during the Ashes, a potential Australian series win will not be tarnished.

"I don't think we would feel cheated, that's just the way the game goes," Clarke told Sportal.

"Because you're playing all year round guys do get injured … it's the same for our team, there are guys with little niggles and I think our break has been ideal for some of our guys."

England is facing serious concerns on the injury front with skipper Michael Vaughan (knee) finding out on Saturday what his chances are of touring Australia, and Andrew Flintoff (ankle), left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, and fast bowlers Simon Jones (knee) and James Anderson (back) all ruled out of the ongoing one-day series with Sri Lanka.

Vaughan faces possible surgery on his injured knee, while some reports suggest that Jones will definitely miss the battle for the urn - claims he strenuously refuted on Sky Sports in the UK.

"The annoying thing for me is that people have said I am not going to make the Ashes tour," Jones said.

"That's not true. I am working hard and the Ashes tour is a long way off, it's about five months or so. I've just got to get back bowling before then and prove my fitness.

"I want to get back into the side and the Ashes is a massive part of why you play cricket, so I am not going to discount myself yet."

Clarke agrees with Jones in stating that pundits may be getting ahead of themselves predicting that England will be forced to try and regain the Ashes with a second-string side.

"There's still five months before the first Test and there's plenty of time for the guys with injuries to make sure they are fit," Clarke said.

"They'll be doing everything in their power to have a fit side and if guys need operations then they will be having them now so they will be full strength fit and ready to play.

"I hope they're all fit and everyone in our team is hoping they have their full strength team and we can beat them with that."

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