Clarke Keeps XI
Under Wraps 

Featured News | 9th July 2013

On the eve of the first Investec Ashes Test between England and Australia here at Trent Bridge, the entire cricketing world has been waiting with bated breath to hear which eleven players would step out onto the turf.

Australian captain Michael Clarke, however, was keen to keep his selection close to his chest.

"I do know the 11, at this stage we're not going to name the team until the toss tomorrow," he said.

"You can call it a tactic, or foxing, (but) it's just the way we're doing things.

"To me the important people who need to know, do (know) and that's the players, so they can prepare.

Clarke also commented on England’s squad, which has seen young batsman Joe Root promoted to the top of the order from his starting position at 6 earlier in the year. Root replaced Nick Compton, who dropped out of the squad after failing to impose himself on the national side.

"Nick has showed he's got a lot of class, I'm surprised he's not in the first Test for England," he said.

From there, focus shifted to Clarke himself, and the Australian captain declared himself fully fit ahead of the Test despite missing much of the buildup to the series through a back problem.

"I'm 100 per cent fit, yes I have to deal with my back every day of my life but I have come through the tour games fine so far," he said.

"It's about time I scored some more runs for Australia ... the other guys will be fine.

"I'm focused on my job, I'm really confident in the other guys."

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