Clarke declares himself fit

Australia received a big boost when captain Michael Clarke declared himself fit to face England in the second Ashes Test and is relishing the opportunity to lead out the same 11 players in back-to-back matches for the first time in a year.

Clarke skipped training on Tuesday after rolling his right ankle the day before, but batted in the nets at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday before declaring himself a certain starter. "The ankle feels fine," the 32-year-old told reporters on the eve of the opening day of the match.

"I think not training yesterday obviously gave me an extra day to make sure I was 100 percent today. I feel completely fine."

Clarke's willingness to announce the lineup was also a telling departure from his cagey media conference on the eve of the Brisbane Test, where he guarded the team-list as jealously as a state secret.

"(It's) a nice position to be in, to be honest," Clarke enthused. "When the selectors hand you the same 11, it's a real positive for where the team is at and how we performed in Brisbane.

"If you look at our Test record this year, it's certainly not something to brag about in regard to wins. In saying that, we take a lot of confidence out of the first Test in Brisbane. There's a lot of positives that have come out, not just the most recent game in Brisbane, but over the last six-eight months, but our results certainly haven't indicated that.”

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