Kochi: The stand-in Australian captain Michael Clarke is relieved that batting stalwart Sachin Tendulkar and the dashing Virender Sehwag will not be a part of the much vaunted Indian batting line-up in the One-day series.
The Indian Cricket Board has rested Tendulkar while dangerous Virender Sehwag and prolific scorer Gautam Gambhir are not playing due to injury.
Tendulkar scored more than 400 runs in the Test series and was adjudged Man-of-the-series and Clarke is happy that his bowlers will not have contend with his class.
"I am happy that all those guys (Tendulkar, Sehwag) are not playing. I am sick of seeing Sachin scoring so many runs. But I still think Indian team is very strong. They have a lot of young players who have played T20s and ODIs before and they have a lot of talent," Clarke said on the eve of the series-opener.
Australians are also without some big stars and Clarke said, it will be an even contest.
"I think the opposition we are playing is very tough, especially in the Indian conditions but I am confident that if we play to our best, we will win the series. As I said earlier this series is going to be fought evenly," he said.
The Aussie captain was not sure if pacer Dough Bollinger will be able to make it to the final XI.
"Doug is recovering but I am not sure if he is going to be fit to play tomorrow, we will have to wait and see. He hasn`t had a bowl since straining his abdomen, I think we will have to wait and see how he pulls up after a bowl today."
Persistent rains have not only denied the two sides some valuable practice but are also threatening to play a spoilsport.
Clarke said his team mates are itching to go out.
"I think all the boys are sick to be going to the gym. We haven`t done much really to be honest. We are really keen to get outside and play the first ODI.
"I think we will step out and do some running around, catch a few balls, get out of the hotel rooms. It`s been good for the body to have no cricket in the last two three days but we are very keen to play tomorrow," he said.
On being asked if Australia will field two spinners considering the help Indian pitches offer them, Clarke was not sure.
"In all three forms of the game, Nathan Hauritz form has been very good in the last 12 months. He would have liked to perform better in the Test matches no doubt but Hauritz has been a good one-day bowler for a long time. Young Steven Smith is a good all rounder.”
"I haven`t been to the ground, so I have to look at the conditions and may be who knows both of them might be playing. We will wait and see tomorrow," he said.