Melbourne, Dec 27 (IANS) Australia skipper Michael Clarke Saturday said he is “really confident” he will be fit and available for the “majority” of next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.
Clarke, speaking on the Nine Network’s The Cricket Show at lunch on day two of the third Test against India, said it was unlikely he would be fit for Australia’s opening match.
“I don’t think it’s probably realistic for me to be 100 percent fit for the first game, but I think I will certainly be fit and available for the majority of the World Cup,” he said.
“Obviously it comes down to the selectors taking that risk. I think the advantage with the World Cup selection of 15 is you can take a player, if he’s not fit you can rule him out of the tournament and bring someone else in.”
“I’m hoping the selectors will give me that opportunity.”
Australia’s first game in the World Cup is against England at the MCG Feb 14. A squad of 15 must be named by Jan 8.
The upbeat prognosis from Clarke is a welcome reverse from his warning that “there’s a chance I could never play again” in the wake of the Adelaide Test.
Having overcome a left hamstring injury to take his place in the eleven for an emotion-charged Test match following the tragic death of Phillip Hughes. Clarke suffered further setbacks during the match.
He injured his back while batting on the first day and was forced to retire hurt – only to bravely return on the second morning to complete a memorable century – before tearing his right hamstring in the field.