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Clarke in race to be fit for 2nd Test

World Cricket

Sydney - Australian captain Michael Clarke is confident he will be fit for the second Test against Sri Lanka and has started an intensive physio campaign Wednesday to overcome a hamstring strain.

The world's leading Test batsman suffered the twinge in his team's 137-run win over the tourists in Hobart this week and he is racing the clock to recover in time for the next encounter in Melbourne from December 26.

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ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 22: Michael Clarke of Australia celebrates as he reaches his double century during day one of the 2nd Test match between Australia and South Africa at Adelaide Oval on November 22, 2012 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

“I know I'm in great hands with (team physio) Alex (Kountouris) and I know how great a physio he is,” Clarke said.

“Obviously my preparation will be a little bit different to the lead-up to this Test match but I've done a fair bit of batting throughout the summer so I'm confident.”

The prolific Clarke needs just 55 runs to equal Ricky Ponting's Australian record of 1 544 Test runs in a calendar year, set in 2005. The Melbourne Test is the last chance to overhaul his now retired former teammate.

Clarke was included in the 12-man squad announced Tuesday with Usman Khawaja on standby. The Pakistan-born Khawaja played the last of his six Tests against New Zealand in Hobart a year ago.

“I'm really confident that with seven, eight days' turnaround (the injury will heal),” Clarke added.

“I'll be giving myself every opportunity, that's for sure.”

Sapa-AFP

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