She said,''I like clouds in the sky
She said,''I like clouds in the sky'' change into indirect forms of speech
The absence of the article could also imply that she liked CLOUDS in the sky and not FISH, for example. It is irregular not to revert to 'one tense back' for the reported speech - in this example, using the past simple is regular and correct. Since the speech is reported, the tense shouldn't be in the present simple.
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