The subcontinent trip is a bizarre piece of pre-Ashes scheduling that means England will have arrived and completed their first warm-up clash with Western Australia before Australia has finished their Indian commitments.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann will skip next month's tour, and the expectation is the captain will do the same to rest his back before the campaign to regain the urn starts on November 21 at the Gabba.
Given the severe contrast in importance of the two series, why wouldn't he?
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"We're playing the No.1 one-day team in the world and if beat them convincingly I think we go back to being the No.1 one-day team in the world," Clarke said at Cricket NSW's season launch on Thursday.
"That's a good enough reason to want to get over there and play well.
"But any opportunity you get to play for Australia, you look forward to it and want to make the most of it.
"We played some really good one-day cricket in England. I'd love to see that continue in different conditions, and then bring some of that momentum back for the first Test."
Australia hasn't been No.1 in the ICC's rankings for any format since July 2012.
Clarke has been having treatment several times a day since returning to Sydney, and said it was hard to compare the state of his troublesome back with past flare-ups.
The 32-year-old plans to test it out in the next few days before making a final call on the Indian tour.
"I think we're going to push me as far as I can go and see how I pull up. If I pull up fine, great - I'm on the plane," he said.
"If I don't then I might have to have scans.
"I'm going to push myself as hard as I can and try and get right for this series."