Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke declared himself fighting fit as he left for India Tuesday, saying the line-up for the first Test since Michael Hussey's retirement was "very open".
Clarke, who missed the final ODI against the West Indies in Melbourne with a hamstring
strain, voiced confidence he would be ready for the first Test in Chennai on February 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.
Selectors will be faced with where to place vice-captain Shane Watson, who returns from injury and who has put himself forward as an opener. "Obviously, Shane needs to come back into the line-up," Clarke said.