Australia v Sri Lanka 2010-11 November 1, 2010

Australia need momentum for Ashes - Clarke

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia must turn around their form in the three one-day internationals against Sri Lanka so they can enter the Ashes with some momentum, according to Michael Clarke. The Australians opened their home season with a demoralising seven-wicket loss to Kumar Sangakkara's men in Sunday's Twenty20 at the WACA, less than a month from the first Ashes Test.

It was Australia's first Twenty20 loss at home, and their fifth consecutive defeat across all formats, stretching back to July's Test series against Pakistan. That is hardly the form they want heading in to the battle to regain the urn and Clarke, who captained the Twenty20 outfit, said it was important to use the ODI series to change their fortunes.

"You want to win every game you play, in all three forms of the game," Clarke told reporters in Perth after the game. "I was told in the press conference we had won 10 out of 10 in this form of the game in Australia, so it is disappointing to lose our first Twenty20 game in Australia.

"It is important that we play good cricket and win these games against Sri Lanka to build momentum into the Test series against England. We need to improve, there is no doubt about it. We are not getting the results we would like in all three forms and we need to get better and keep working on our game, individually and as a team and keep working on the areas that aren't as good as they need to be."

Clarke opened the batting at the WACA and battled to 16 from 19 balls, which contributed to the team's below-par total. However, he was far from alone and it wasn't until Brad Haddin and Steven Smith combined for a counter-attacking sixth-wicket stand that the Australians began to find some touch.

"I thought it was the right decision for the team," Clarke said of opening alongside David Warner. "I made that decision, unfortunately we didn't score enough runs tonight. I felt good. Both Dave and I hit six balls in the first three overs out of the middle of the bat, but straight to the field, which was a little bit disappointing. If they find the gap we are off to a decent start."

Australia rested Michael Hussey and Mitchell Johnson, who instead turned out for Western Australia in a Sheffield Shield match at Adelaide Oval. It wasn't an enjoyable experience for Hussey, who made a golden duck, and the pair will rejoin the limited-overs squad for Wednesday's first ODI at the MCG.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jaminda on November 5, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    Dear Wolver - you are pointing the finger at Steffan Abeysekara but reality is Micheal Clarke is going to ruin Aussie Cricket once he takes over the reigns from Ponting. It is nice to see Aussie fighting spirit still prevails after many retirements - over 14 top players but one must admit countries like Sri Lanka has risen above Aussies. Hope to see Aussies doing well in Ashes. But Wolver do not speak about other sports as this is cricinfo.

    Drop Micheal Clarke from 20/20 he is not a player for that version of the game. he is a good test player and not a good captain either. Cameron White needs to take over the 20/20 captaincy and play second fiddle to Ponting in the one day side. God bless Australian Cricket after Ponting retires - if they do not put the correct person as the captain. Clarke will be another Kim Hughes in Aussie Cricket.

  • Wolver on November 4, 2010, 8:44 GMT

    @ StefanAbeysekera - What is your problem with Aus? Sure they are not the oldest country but they have done very well and are a player on the international stage, as well as a great sporting country. Srilankans are not noted for other sport other sport and if your country is so grand, how come no one wants to play you guys. Let me guess, they are afraid you'll beat them. Of course with Sri pathetic away record that does not seem likely. Aus will bounce back, they are world champions across a number of sports.

  • Benjamin on November 3, 2010, 23:12 GMT

    After last nights result I'm now certain the the Aussies won't retain the ashes. That was a down right disgrace and I'm ashamed at the lack of killer instinct my national side has.

    It happened in India last month, the MCG last night, 1st test 2009 ashes, 2008 MCG v South Africa, 2008 WACA v South Africa. All games the Aussies had by the throat and let slip.

    For the love of god get Allan Border or Steve Waugh in a consulting roll and teach these men how to land a killer blow and not let the opposition off the canvas. Losing the ashes might not be such a bad thing, at least it will force the selectors hand and force them to cut some dead wood or those under performing.

    The key batsman this ashes will be Anderson, Flynn, and what ever other bunny fills 9,10, and 11. I can see it now they'll manage to hold out and force a draw or chase some unlikely total between them in key moments. How quicks cant remove the tail is beyond me. Last night was a disgrace. Siddle and Johnson please!

  • brando45 on November 3, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    The Battle of the Blues over 130 years old , played by two great schools which even World War I and II could not halt despite all the fury, a game of cricket which is the second oldest in the World, a game that is older than the Ashes series between Australia and England, is indeed unique.

    In Ceylon of the years gone by and Sri Lanka today, the Royal - Thomian cricket match is a undeclared holiday for the young and old of both schools . One cannot forget the fairer sex who has continued to add glamour to the event , irrespective of age .

    Many great Prime Ministers , a former President, Ministers and leading citizens of the land in many fields have represented both schools in the Big Match . There has been many cricketers representing Ceylon and Sri Lanka from both schools with distinction . Some have captained the National Team with much acceptance. Thomians and Royalist young and old, continue to share the friendly rivalry each year and has also continued to uphold the greatest

  • Rafat on November 3, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Seriously is Ashes a smoke screen for Australians to hide their horrible cricket form? I wonder what will be the excuse when they get their asses whipped by England? It's about time someone in the Aussie camp to admit that the other teams are out playing them in ever aspect of the game and not their Ashes excuse. Aussies have always been a strong opponent in the game, but this is not Waugh era anymore. That time has come and gone. But I guess that would be too much of a truth for the great Aussie team to fathom.

  • stefan on November 3, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Well we just had the one dayer - and Sri Lanka won again!!

  • Kell on November 3, 2010, 11:27 GMT

    @Hayden Brennan: Spot on.

  • Dummy4 on November 3, 2010, 11:23 GMT

    It Mohali defeat crucified Aus, MCG loss buried them for good.

  • Martin on November 3, 2010, 5:49 GMT

    This series is pointless degrading for both teams. Nothing but a money-making exercise for Cricket Australia. Another ODI-only tour? Yawn.

  • David on November 3, 2010, 0:10 GMT

    20/20 cricket is bearly cricket at all and the longer the form of the game the more you need consistency and all 11 players contributing and this is where a lot of teams fall down. While Sri Lanka's best 2-3 players are as good or better than Australia's, their worst 3 are much more inferior to Australia's worst 3. So as the form of the game gets longer the less chance SL have of winning. Australia will win any game that Jayarwardene or Sangakara don't hit a 100. As for 20/20 even South Australia can win 20/20 games. While saying that SL really did wipe NSW/Vic XI out in that 20/20 game.

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