x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Michael Clarke confident of shaking off injury ahead of Test series in India

The Australia captain has struggled with a hamstring problem since the series against Sri Lanka last year, and may be forced out of a warm up match this weekend.

Australia captain Michael Clarke talks to physio Alex Kountouris on the field against Sri Lanka.
Australia captain Michael Clarke talks to physio Alex Kountouris on the field against Sri Lanka.

Michael Clarke insists he will be fit for Australia's first Test in India next week - despite a hamstring injury that could keep him out of this weekend's warm up match

The Australia captain flew out for the four-Test tour of India still battling the injury he picked up in the one-day international win over the West Indies last Friday.

He was forced to sit out the final match of that series on Sunday due to the injury, which has been a problem since Australia's Test series with Sri Lanka late last year.

Australia will begin a two-day game in Chennai on Tuesday, followed by a final three-day hit-out this weekend as preparation for next week's Test opener.

Clarke is hopeful of playing some part in that final clash but will take advice from physio Alex Kountouris before deciding if it is worth the risk before what will be a gruelling series.

"I'm feeling much better," Clarke said.

"I've had four days now of recovery, rehab and a lot of physio so I'm certainly on the mend.

"I've got some time when I arrive in India to get myself 100% fit as well. That's very positive for me.

"In my mind cricket-wise I feel like I need that game to spend some time in Indian conditions both batting and bowling, but also with my captaincy as well because India is such a different place to Australia.

"There's so much time I don't think there'll be any doubt I'll be fit for the first Test match."

Clarke, who has not missed a Test match through injury since making his debut in India almost nine years ago, said the warm-up matches would be hugely important to how the team performs in the opening Test.

"There are 17 guys in the squad, we're all fighting for a spot - unfortunately, you can only pick 11," he said.

"Runs and wickets will certainly play a big part in picking the side.

"But for a lot of the guys it's more about preparation and seeing (Indian) conditions."

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