I'll be fit for the first Test: Clarke

Sydney, Feb 12 (IANS) Australia captain Michael Clarke said that he would be fit in time for the first Test against India starting Feb 22 but doubt still remains on his participation in the warm-up game that starts this weekend in Chennai.

Before leaving for India Tuesday morning, Clarke said he feels much better now. The Australian captain strained his right hamstring during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart. He injured it again last Friday.

Clarke said he would take a call on the warm-up game after consulting team physio Alex Kountouris, who is already in India.

"In my mind cricket-wise I feel as if I need that game to spend some time in the middle in Indian conditions, both batting and bowling but also with my captaincy as well," Clarke was quoted as saying by the Australian media before boarding a flight to India.

"Like all the boys the more preparation we can get leading into that first Test match in Indian conditions the better. I'd really like to play that three-dayer. India is such a different place to Australia, but I'll listen to the expert and see what he has to say."

Clarke, who has never missed a Test since making his debut on the subcontinent in 2004, said that he has enough time to get ready for the first Test of the four-match series.

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

The first Test will be held in Chennai from Feb 22. Hyderabad (March 2-6), Mohali (March 14-18) and Delhi (March 22-26) host the remaining three Tests.

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