Clarke sure he will be ready for India Tests
Australia captain Michael Clarke is confident he will be fit for the first Test with India despite admitting his hamstring injury could keep him out of a crucial warm-up game this weekend.
Clarke flew out for Australia's four-Test tour today, still battling the hamstring problem sustained in the one-day international win over West Indies on Friday.
He was forced to sit out the final match of that series at the MCG on Sunday with the problem to his right hamstring, which has plagued him since the Tests with Sri Lanka in December.
Australia begin a two-day game in Chennai on Tuesday before a final three-day hit-out this weekend, which will be crucial 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 at Sydney airport. "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 per cent 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 through injury having made his debut in India almost nine years ago, said the warm-ups would be hugely important to how the team performs in the opening Test.
Asked about the possible make-up of the side for the first Test, the skipper said: "It's very open, hence we've sent (17) players in three different stages to get over there as soon as possible to prepare and get used to conditions.
"Runs and wickets will certainly play a big part in these practice games leading up to the first Test but for a lot of guys it's more about preparation and seeing conditions.
"The more preparation we can get leading into that first Test match in Indian conditions the better."