Clarke confident about his fitness for Test against India
AUSTRALIAN captain Michael Clarke has never missed a Test through injury since making his debut against India at Bangalore in 2004 and has no intention of changing that statistic now.
He's confident that he'll overcome a hamstring injury and will be fit to be in the line-up for the first Test against India starting in Delhi on Friday week.
Clarke injured his right hamstring in the fourth ODI against the Windies at the SCG on Friday, which caused him to miss the final game in the series at the MCG on Sunday, but he said his rehab was going well before flying out of Sydney yesterday to join his teammates already in Chennai.
"There's so much time I don't think there will be any doubt I'll be fit for the first Test match," Clarke said.
"I'm feeling much better. I've had four days of recovery, rehab and a lot of physio, I'm certainly on the mend.
"I've got some time when I arrive in India to get myself 100 per cent fit as well, that's very positive for me."
The Australians will play a two-day game, which started in Chennai yesterday, and a three-day match against India A, also in Chennai, starting on Saturday, before the four-Test series begins.
Clarke said there was plenty at stake in the warm-up games as selectors are far from settled on a Test line-up.
"I think it's very open, hence the fact we've sent players in three different stages to get over there as soon as possible to prepare and get used to conditions," Clarke said.
"All the players will have an opportunity to make some runs and take some wickets, but most importantly get used to those conditions and then we'll work out the XI from there."
One spot that might prove to give selectors a headache is who will open, with Ed Cowan and Shane Watson potentially locked in a battle to join David Warner against the new ball.
Clarke gave nothing away.
"I think it's a really positive sign that we've got so many options in our squad. Obviously Shane needs to come back into the line-up somewhere," he said.
"I've said though, it's a lot different now that Watto's now bowling. As an all-rounder I think he walks into any team; as a batsman there's a much bigger pool of players.
"We need to work out what our best batting line-up is that compliments the team, and we'll go from there."
- 1st Test: Delhi Feb 22- Feb 26
- 2nd Test: Mohali Mar 2 - Mar 6
- 3rd Test: Hyderabad Mar 14 - Mar 18
- 4th Test: Chennai Mar 22 - Mar 26