Clarke fit and ready for Kiwis
Australia vice captain Michael Clarke is confident of being fit for the first Test against New Zealand.
Last Updated: 18/11/08 2:55pm
Australia vice captain Michael Clarke is confident of being fit for the first Test against New Zealand, which starts at the 'Gabba on Thursday.
The middle-order batsman suffered a chest infection during the recent tour of India, the ailment having lingered sufficiently to prevent him playing in a Twenty20 All Stars match last Friday.
But Clarke insists there is no danger of him missing the series opener against the Black Caps.
"Not unless they cut my leg off," he joked when asked if he was ever in any doubt for the game.
"I think coming home I was really run down and I still had the chest infection, I think I was a little bit nervous about exactly what the problem was, but once I got back in Australia I knew I'd be in good hands."
Clarke resumed training with the Australian squad on Monday and maintained that he was now in good health, despite losing a little bit of strength while battling illness.
"I feel good now, I feel fine batting, I had a good hit yesterday, another good hit today, I don't think it's affected my body too much," he added.
Clarke offered no clues as to whether Australia are planning to play two all-rounder, Shane Watson and Andrew Symonds, in their starting line-up.
Both are included in a 13-man squad - Symonds for the first time since being dropped for skipping a team meeting to go fishing back in August - and could feature together, depending on the wicket in Brisbane.
Off-spinner Jason Krejza, fresh from taking 12 wickets on debut in the final Test of the India tour, would likely be the man to make way to accommodate Symonds.
"I think the first thing is to wait until the rain goes away, take the covers off and see what sort of wicket we've got," added Clarke.
"I think a few guys have asked (chairman of selectors) Andrew Hilditch what's happening with the team and I think his response at the moment is he's got no idea because we haven't seen the wicket."