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Michael Clarke can’t wait to return to international cricket, with the Australian captain declaring himself fully recovered from the hamstring injury which sidelined him for a month.
Clarke missed all of Australia’s five-match one-day campaign in the Caribbean last month, only returning to action in this week’s three-day tour match against a WICB President’s XI in Barbados.
The 30-year-old made 30 and 4 in his two innings in the eight-wicket win and while he conceded he would have liked more time in the middle, Clarke is just looking forward to leading Australia onto the field in Saturday’s first Test against the West Indies at Kensington Oval.
“My body feels fine, I’m looking forward to getting back out there to be honest,” Clarke told reporters.
“Missing the five one-dayers was quite hard at home watching on the television. I’m not a good watcher at the best of times.
“I’m excited to be back out there. I felt like I hit the ball pretty sweet in the first innings (of the tour match). Like all batsmen I would have liked to make some more runs, I’d like to still be batting now.
“Hopefully I’ve saved a few for this first Test match.”
Clarke and the rest of Australia’s selectors confirmed a squad of 12 for the first Test on Friday with fast bowler Mitch Starc, batsman Peter Forrest, spinner Michael Beer and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill the players to miss out on the match.
The final XI won’t be named until the toss but young Victorian paceman James Pattinson appears the man most likely to miss out with Ryan Harris likely to beat the 21-year-old for the final place in Australia’s three-man pace attack alongside Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus.
The first Test begins at 10am Saturday (0000 Sunday AEST).