SYDNEY: Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke declared himself fighting fit as he left for India on Tuesday, saying the line-up for the first Test since the retirement of Michael Hussey was “very open”.
Clarke, who missed the final one-day international against the West Indies in Melbourne with a hamstring strain, voiced confidence he would be ready for the first Test in Chennai on Feb.22.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt that I will be fit for the first Test match,” he told reporters, adding that he hoped to play in the second opening tour game to get used to conditions on the subcontinent.
“I think I’ve been lucky throughout my career to be honest, with the degeneration in my back, to have played 80-odd Test matches and not missed one is something I’m very proud of.”
The skipper said it remained “very open” on who would play in the first Test, the first since Hussey called it quits which followed veteran Ricky Ponting’s decision to retire late last year.
Clarke said the two opening tour games provided a good opportunity for the Australian players to prepare themselves for the tricky conditions they will face in the four-Test tour.
“There are 17 guys in the squad, we’re all fighting for a spot — unfortunately, you can only pick 11,” he said.