Australia news April 15, 2011

Clarke turns eyes to Argus review

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Having seen off modest opponents in Bangladesh, new Australia captain Michael Clarke will now turn his eyes to critical planning for Australian cricket's next 12 months and the years beyond.

Clarke and a handful of team-mates returned to Australia on Friday while the majority of the squad that swept Bangladesh 3-0 remained on the subcontinent for the Indian Premier League. Questioned on arrival about the role he would play on the Don Argus-led review into the waning fortunes of the national team, Clarke agreed the next few months would be a pivotal time of consultation and discussion about new directions.

The review panel also features the former Australia captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh, while Malcolm Speed and James Sutherland, the former and current Cricket Australia chiefs, will also take part.

"This is probably the important time for me to spend as much time as I can with the people who make a lot of decisions about our game, and make sure we are on the same page, have the same goals and are heading in the same direction," Clarke told reporters at Sydney Airport. "I'm excited to be home and have a bit of time off, but I'm very keen to get to Melbourne and spend some time with Cricket Australia and the selectors as well."

Australia remain top of the ICC's limited-overs rankings despite their underwhelming World Cup result, a tag Clarke believed was deserved. "The statistics say we are number one for good reason; we've won a lot of one-day games for a long period of time. In saying that, I think there's a lot of work to be done on our game to improve and keep getting better."

As for his vice-captain Shane Watson's long-awaited rise to No.1 in the ODI allrounder rankings, Clarke could hardly act surprised. "He's a wonderful player no doubt. His form over the last 12 to 18 months has been as good as anybody in the world; he's definitely a big part of our team in all forms of the game."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VivGilchrist on April 18, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    Did Ireland have better players than England in WCup because they selected a team that defeated them? Players can rise above, that's why upsets happen. Form is the issue.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on April 18, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    I'm losing the logic now @VivGilchrist. Surely you have to pick the best available; but those "best" have to be better than what the other side has got, otherwise they are quite likely to beat you - because they have the better players. This described Aus in the 90's - they just had better players, so they won, simple as that. Selectors HAVE TO pick someone better than Anderson & co! Now the question is; did they pick the wrong players - or were the "best available" just not as good as what Eng had??? I agree - there were definitely some wrong picks on the bowling, but the batting should have been good enough. Clarke/Ponting were just way out of whack and there was a big problem right there. @Meety - sweet climb down, but it doesn't explain why Edmonds/Emburey took 33 of the 79 wickets taken (@35) by England in the 86/87 series or how Emburey took a match winning 5 for @ the Gabba, or how together they took 5 2nd dig wickets at the MCG to win the ashes for england. These are the facts.

  • VivGilchrist on April 18, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    @mr vacant slip. I hear you once again but once again I don't fully agree. Selection is dependent on the things you can control. It's not for Aus selectors to pick someone better than Anderson and co, Its for them to select the best 3 Aus pacemen available. Harris is no1, but is Copeland a better pick than Siddle, Hilf, or MJ. That's the selectors job. If Aus play Ind in India, we don't have a batsman as good as Tendukar(as we are reminded over and over again by our Indian counterparts) but it's the selectors job to pick our best batsmen in those conditions. I'm not saying we would have won the Ashes, but with more intelligent selections we may have had a fighting chance.

  • Biggus on April 18, 2011, 6:53 GMT

    @Meety-I guess we have got to go with what we have. Hughes just really appeals to me as a guy to let loose on the opposition late in the day much as Doug Walters used to do. You have to love a young player who walks into test cricket and hammers it around like he's still playing for his school 1st XI. Shades of David Hookes there. I'd be sorry to see the back of Katich but if we're taking two oldies into the game in Hussey and Ponting it's hard to fit him in given our need to transition.

  • Meety on April 18, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    @Wozza-CY - I agree Warner has quite a few ahead of him at the moment. He also has a stigma that will take a bit extra to shake, (just a slogger). There were SOME very promising signs at the end of the season, & I hope he can get an opportunity next year to expand on this. I think he should move interstate though, he won't get a full season for NSW. I also agree that transisition will need to be managed very well, particularly the Test side. I'd like to see the selectors take some risks with the ODI & T20 side.

  • Meety on April 18, 2011, 5:29 GMT

    @ A_Vacant_Slip - yes, Warne played in series winning Oz sides, his performances are notable for doing so on FAST& SEAMING pitches. Which is what is NORMAL in Oz. "Nobody ever wins a series in Oz because they might have a good spinner in the side". I'll correct that to say "No TOURING side ever wins a series in Oz because they might have a good spinner in the side". The Saffas never beat us through spin, Poms didn't, the Windies didn't, NZ in the mid 80s didn't either, it was 90% pace. @Biggus - I must admit the first time I saw Hughes bat was in the 2009 Ashes. I saw one innings where I thought he looked good & against the run of play he got out for about 30. Anyways whilst I thought he looked good, I thought his technique was very odd. So I assumed that after taking the Saffas to the cleaners it may be an effective technique. He finished the domestic season well, so I'd like to see him have a go against SL & see if he can repeat in Sth Africa.

  • Biggus on April 18, 2011, 3:35 GMT

    @Dr.Qwert-Much as I'm not entirely happy about it Katich may have had his day. I hate to be a doubter but I still don't quite know what to make of Hughes. Sure, great eye and nice timing but the guy has a technique that would be considered a bit dodgy in a No.7 or 8. You can make small changes to technique but not your basic modus operandi at the crease, and I just wonder how forthcoming opposition bowlers will be in feeding his strengths. If it was up to me I'd never give him a thing to cut. Not now, not later, not ever. Everybody knows. To me he seems a great player of bad bowling but can he make a career as a test batsman, an opener to boot, given that everybody knows exactly how to attack him? Some of you guys will have seen far more of him than I so feel free to enlighten me. I don't get to see all that much of him over in the west. And no, I'm not spruiking Shaun Marsh, I just find Watto and Hughes worry me as test openers against class fast bowling.

  • A_Vacant_Slip on April 18, 2011, 3:30 GMT

    @VivGilchrist; sorry - let me clear that up Hauritz SHOULD have played, leaving him out was a glaring error, and agree D Hussey for North/Smith. Both errors attributable to Ponting. If you want to blame selection more widely then you have to look around and say "Ok which bowlers do we have who are better than Anderson/Tremlett/Swann/Bresnan"? O'Keefe did well in the A game and could/should have been given a go. But he's no Swann. Harris/Siddle were Aus best bowlers - but were they better than Andersn/Trem? Regarding batting; that Aus line up should have been OK. When it began to look fallible the question is again; "who do we have who is better than Cook, Pietersen, Trott, Bell"? I think the answer is no-one. None of the players touted for Aus who in the end didn't play would have out-performed their English counterpart. @Meety; "Nobody ever wins a series in Oz because they might have a good spinner in the side". You got a short memory mate - the name Warne mean anything to you?

  • Wozza-CY on April 18, 2011, 2:48 GMT

    Agreed there a few in the line ahead of Warner, just making the point it will be interesting to see him get some opportunities at State level in the four day format & how he goes about it. Maddinson is good, C.Lynn also one to look out for. The point I'm making is I hope they manage the phasing in & phasing out better than they have in recent history. The worst thing that could happen is that SK, RP & MH all do great in the next 2-3 years then all pack it in one final hoorah at the SCG! Hughes needs an extended period as opener, Kwaja will learn a lot batting at 6 between Haddin & Hussey. Then when RP goes he slots straight in at 3 & a young gun slots into 6, ready to replace Watson at the top if he slides down when MH goes. The next sheild season will be a very interesting one to see who really pushes their cause to make the team. There is glut of seamers ready for an opportunity so there needs to be serious resources put into our spinning stocks.

  • dummy4fb on April 18, 2011, 2:26 GMT

    Meety - My point was not on the rating system, but Michel Clarke's little analysis of the rankings. Regardless of the flaws in the system, the argument that Australia's ODI ranking is accurate but the Test ranking is not, is a little far fetched.

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