Australia news July 24, 2014

India hurt, but I have no regrets - Clarke

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Almost a year ago to the day, Michael Clarke sat at Lord's embarrassed by his team's 347-run hammering which had seen them go 2-0 down in the Ashes. It was a low point, another one for Clarke in what was developing into a horrendous year for Australia but which finished with them overwhelming England in the return series.

A few months previously, on the tour of India, Clarke had been involved in the decision to suspend four players in an incident dubbed 'homework-gate' after Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja had failed to follow team orders between the second and third Tests of a series Australia went on to lose 4-0.

At the time Clarke made clear he was supportive of the disciplinary measures taken alongside Mickey Arthur, the coach, who would be sacked just days before the Ashes series in England began to be replaced by Darren Lehmann. And now, looking back at what he terms the "toughest period" of his captaincy, Clarke is adamant he has no regrets.

"In the build up to that event, there were a number of things that occurred over a long period of time; it wasn't just that event," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Mickey drew a line in the sand and yes, I was a part of it, I stand by that, but I don't regret it one bit. I backed my coach, I supported him and I believe the decision, especially now that I look back, was the best decision for Australian cricket."

However, what really cut to the core for Clarke was the label attached to his side during, and after, that tour of India. "I was more disappointed and upset at the fact a team I was captaining was labelled the worst Australian team to tour India; I blame me."

Of those players suspended for the Mohali Test, only Khawaja has now faded from the scene after playing three of the Ashes Tests in England. Watson returned to captain Australia in the final Test of the India series when Clarke was injured and would end up playing all 10 Tests in the back-to-back Ashes.

Johnson returned to the side against England in Brisbane with devastating effect and Pattinson, who began the Ashes in England before succumbing to another injury, regained his Test berth for the decider against South Africa in Cape Town, although he is once again under the cloud of a back problem.

The victory against South Africa at Newlands continued Australia's resurgence and a couple of months later, when the ICC rankings were updated, they had edged above South Africa into the No. 1 position. But Clarke is now determined to look forward at a period where his team will play Test series against Pakistan in UAE and India at home before the World Cup and then an Ashes rematch later in 2015.

"There's a hell of a lot still to achieve, I think our team's still growing," Clarke said. "I still don't think we're at our best as a group, but we're extremely proud of what we have achieved. We've got India, a tough test team coming to Australia this summer, and then we go back to England next summer for the Ashes, so there's still a lot of tough cricket in front of us, but we're excited by that."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 25, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    Mathew McNulty - I'm not sure why you are blaming India, Australia and England for the fact you only have 3 test series. It has nothing to do with them. It is the South African cricket board that is determining this. In the test series against Australia in South Africa prior to the last one, there were only two tests. Both sides were frustrated with this but the South African Cricket board wanted to play one-dayers and 20-20's instead. Given the handful of people that turn up to test cricket in South Africa, I can see why.

    Australia would love to play South Africa in a 5 test series in Australia, especially over the Boxing Day and New Years test. But South Africa will not play because they have there own series over Christmas. So they will only agree to play a short 3 test series early in the season. We are all frustrated by this. It is South Africa who won't play 5 test series. Not other countries.

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    @Matthew McNulty:- Yeah, there are plenty of us over this side of the Indian Ocean who aren't all that fond of the big three idea too. Personally it goes against my idea of fair play but CA isn't listening to the core fans anymore it seems. We love playing you guys, you fight hard and you don't take a backward step, but is CSA actively pursuing longer test series? I'm sure CA would be happy to host you guys for five tests here from a monetary point alone. The games would be packed out I'm sure. I reckon after the Ashes SA would be the biggest draw here now that the Windies have lost their magic. I understand we have 40,000 ex Saffers in the Perth area alone.

  • on July 25, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    @Matthew. You only need to look at the attendances in SA , as recently as playing Australia at home because there was almost more Aussies at the games in SA than your own fans so that isn't helping that no one is turning up. But yes can understand your frustration as SA should be playing atleast 3 test series.

  • on July 25, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    I'm not sure how the Aussies managed to get to no.1 in the rankings. Yes they beat SA, but SA beat them in their backyard just before that. Some how the win against a poor England counted for so much. SA have been unbeaten in the road since 2006* or something like that, and Aus are no.1?

    Anyways my main gripe is that as a saffa I'm extremely upset with the amount of test cricket we are getting, 2 matches here, 3 matches there. When Aus, Eng, and India all get 5 match series, and usually with each other. It's a load of bs that I can see continuing now that those countries have hijacked world cricket.

    As for Michael Clarke, good man, good captain!

  • on July 25, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    yes as I have mentioned in my previous comment no doubt aussies and safs are the two best teams mainly because both have good fast bowlers backed up by good fielding too. ofcourse batters too contribute. but the main imp advantage to aussies is Clarke is very aggressive captain. Good luck to both teams

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 25, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    I think South Africa have to win the current series against Sri Lanka, be that 1-0 or 2-0, in order to recapture the number one spot.

    Lots of exciting cricket coming up at last. Got a lot of respect for Clarke, as a player and a captain alike. Would like to see him go on and on in tests.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    @ Biggus: "As long as our guys are fighting it out I'm a happy camper." Yeah, me too. It's unrealistic to expect to be at the top all the time. Top sport just doesn't work like that. I'm really happy about the way the boy's have bounced back under the wise old eye of Boof Lehmann but I can see there's still a ship-load of work to do before we can relax. We've got holes that need fixing but there's no point in worrying too much. If our system and our really young guys are good enough we'll plug each gap as it arises. .. If they aren't good enough, we'll get splattered. That's how sport works and there ain't no use thinking otherwise.

  • _-Will-_ on July 25, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    What a dramatic year - 18 months or more for test cricket in general!

    I like @siddhartha87's point about not worrying too much about who will dominate in the future. I think it applies on a smaller time scale too - is it possible to enjoy a match without agonizing over series outcomes or tours that are months away? Probably not, I know I can't always do it!

    As an Indian I have always liked Clarke as a captain. Even when he was busy presiding over the 4-0 thrashing we received as his guests, it was hard to fault his leadership. I also liked his attitude when we returned the favour - straight up with the media - no excuses.

    The Pakistan series is of huge interest to me. I remember watching on tv the absolutely clinical 3-0 whitewash Pakistan delivered to England not long ago - total masterclass in spin bowling. The saddest part was the sea of empty seats for nearly all of it.

    Much has happened since but I think this one really could go either way. Pity its only 2 matches this time

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    @dunger.bob:- I have no problem with the Saffers regaining top spot. I think they probably deserve it more than us atm. It's no big deal to me anyway as I've said before. I'm just glad our guys are showing the spirit we expect from them. It seemed to go missing for a couple of years there which worried me far more than a lack of strength on paper. As long as our guys are fighting it out I'm a happy camper.

    @Jamie Monaghan:- The series versus SA deserved five tests for sure, it was cracking stuff. Had it gone to five I reckon we'd have lost without the Rhino in our attack. I'm going to miss the bugger when he retires.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    @ Biggus: Yep, there's no clear cut mega-team atm. It's musical chairs but I agree that South Africa, should they regain it, are very deserving. They've shown an ability to be hard to be good everywhere and in today's cricket landscape, that's enough to be regarded as the top side (technically) imo. We'll get it back eventually if where're good enough.

    @ Raj Sundararaman: I get your point about our 'Dads Army' image, but to be honest it's not something most Aussies worry about too much. We tend to pick what we think are our best players and if they're good enough they're old/young enough. The last time India was here the team was packed with veterans and lots of Indian comments were having a go at us because they thought we had let our legends go too soon. .. Now India is full of youngsters and we're being told a youth policy is the way to go. .. With all due respect to Indian cricket, this isn't exactly our first barbeque and we'll more than likely just do it our way. .. Cheers.

  • on July 25, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    Mathew McNulty - I'm not sure why you are blaming India, Australia and England for the fact you only have 3 test series. It has nothing to do with them. It is the South African cricket board that is determining this. In the test series against Australia in South Africa prior to the last one, there were only two tests. Both sides were frustrated with this but the South African Cricket board wanted to play one-dayers and 20-20's instead. Given the handful of people that turn up to test cricket in South Africa, I can see why.

    Australia would love to play South Africa in a 5 test series in Australia, especially over the Boxing Day and New Years test. But South Africa will not play because they have there own series over Christmas. So they will only agree to play a short 3 test series early in the season. We are all frustrated by this. It is South Africa who won't play 5 test series. Not other countries.

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 13:42 GMT

    @Matthew McNulty:- Yeah, there are plenty of us over this side of the Indian Ocean who aren't all that fond of the big three idea too. Personally it goes against my idea of fair play but CA isn't listening to the core fans anymore it seems. We love playing you guys, you fight hard and you don't take a backward step, but is CSA actively pursuing longer test series? I'm sure CA would be happy to host you guys for five tests here from a monetary point alone. The games would be packed out I'm sure. I reckon after the Ashes SA would be the biggest draw here now that the Windies have lost their magic. I understand we have 40,000 ex Saffers in the Perth area alone.

  • on July 25, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    @Matthew. You only need to look at the attendances in SA , as recently as playing Australia at home because there was almost more Aussies at the games in SA than your own fans so that isn't helping that no one is turning up. But yes can understand your frustration as SA should be playing atleast 3 test series.

  • on July 25, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    I'm not sure how the Aussies managed to get to no.1 in the rankings. Yes they beat SA, but SA beat them in their backyard just before that. Some how the win against a poor England counted for so much. SA have been unbeaten in the road since 2006* or something like that, and Aus are no.1?

    Anyways my main gripe is that as a saffa I'm extremely upset with the amount of test cricket we are getting, 2 matches here, 3 matches there. When Aus, Eng, and India all get 5 match series, and usually with each other. It's a load of bs that I can see continuing now that those countries have hijacked world cricket.

    As for Michael Clarke, good man, good captain!

  • on July 25, 2014, 12:19 GMT

    yes as I have mentioned in my previous comment no doubt aussies and safs are the two best teams mainly because both have good fast bowlers backed up by good fielding too. ofcourse batters too contribute. but the main imp advantage to aussies is Clarke is very aggressive captain. Good luck to both teams

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 25, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    I think South Africa have to win the current series against Sri Lanka, be that 1-0 or 2-0, in order to recapture the number one spot.

    Lots of exciting cricket coming up at last. Got a lot of respect for Clarke, as a player and a captain alike. Would like to see him go on and on in tests.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 9:42 GMT

    @ Biggus: "As long as our guys are fighting it out I'm a happy camper." Yeah, me too. It's unrealistic to expect to be at the top all the time. Top sport just doesn't work like that. I'm really happy about the way the boy's have bounced back under the wise old eye of Boof Lehmann but I can see there's still a ship-load of work to do before we can relax. We've got holes that need fixing but there's no point in worrying too much. If our system and our really young guys are good enough we'll plug each gap as it arises. .. If they aren't good enough, we'll get splattered. That's how sport works and there ain't no use thinking otherwise.

  • _-Will-_ on July 25, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    What a dramatic year - 18 months or more for test cricket in general!

    I like @siddhartha87's point about not worrying too much about who will dominate in the future. I think it applies on a smaller time scale too - is it possible to enjoy a match without agonizing over series outcomes or tours that are months away? Probably not, I know I can't always do it!

    As an Indian I have always liked Clarke as a captain. Even when he was busy presiding over the 4-0 thrashing we received as his guests, it was hard to fault his leadership. I also liked his attitude when we returned the favour - straight up with the media - no excuses.

    The Pakistan series is of huge interest to me. I remember watching on tv the absolutely clinical 3-0 whitewash Pakistan delivered to England not long ago - total masterclass in spin bowling. The saddest part was the sea of empty seats for nearly all of it.

    Much has happened since but I think this one really could go either way. Pity its only 2 matches this time

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    @dunger.bob:- I have no problem with the Saffers regaining top spot. I think they probably deserve it more than us atm. It's no big deal to me anyway as I've said before. I'm just glad our guys are showing the spirit we expect from them. It seemed to go missing for a couple of years there which worried me far more than a lack of strength on paper. As long as our guys are fighting it out I'm a happy camper.

    @Jamie Monaghan:- The series versus SA deserved five tests for sure, it was cracking stuff. Had it gone to five I reckon we'd have lost without the Rhino in our attack. I'm going to miss the bugger when he retires.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    @ Biggus: Yep, there's no clear cut mega-team atm. It's musical chairs but I agree that South Africa, should they regain it, are very deserving. They've shown an ability to be hard to be good everywhere and in today's cricket landscape, that's enough to be regarded as the top side (technically) imo. We'll get it back eventually if where're good enough.

    @ Raj Sundararaman: I get your point about our 'Dads Army' image, but to be honest it's not something most Aussies worry about too much. We tend to pick what we think are our best players and if they're good enough they're old/young enough. The last time India was here the team was packed with veterans and lots of Indian comments were having a go at us because they thought we had let our legends go too soon. .. Now India is full of youngsters and we're being told a youth policy is the way to go. .. With all due respect to Indian cricket, this isn't exactly our first barbeque and we'll more than likely just do it our way. .. Cheers.

  • on July 25, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    @Biggus. Yeah couldn't agree more as the ranking system can be slightly flawed. I'd love to see a 5 test series between Aus v SA as without a doubt they are miles ahead of the 3rd ranked team with the standard of cricket they play , which is tough hard fought cricket and they proved this earlier in the year. Yeah Kallis is a massive hole as he was their 4th or 5th seamer too who was a wicket taking bowler and not to mention his runs too!

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 7:18 GMT

    @Jamie Monaghan:- Yeah, no worries mate, I had no idea until I watched the video. I don't take a great deal of notice of the ratings anyway. Most of the time the number one team isn't a stand out champion side anyway. Since our last great side the only team that can claim to have been clearly the best are the Saffers. Every one else has just been keeping the seat warm until another really good side comes along, including us atm, and the Saffers should they regain it. If they can't beat us at home they're now also placeholders IMHO. The retirement of Kallis has left a big hole and their lack of a class spinner is causing them balance problems. I don't really need the ratings to recognise a great side, and I don't see any right now.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    @ Biggus & Jamie: As I understand it, SA simply have to win the series to get the #1 spot back. Winning that first Test has put them in an excellent position to do that. As Aussies, we should all probably be barracking for SL right now.

    Anyway, getting back to Clarke for a minute, I'm wondering how much he's got left in him. 2 or 3 years max. I'd say. Hopefully they'll be 2 or 3 very prolific years and he retires on his own terms. The last thing I want to see him do is a 'Cook' and slide out backwards. He's done too much for us to deserve that kind of exit.

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    @Biggus. Yep defo a draw so cheers for that. Suppose shouldn't believe what Sky sports say ha ha.

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    @Biggus. I keep hearing 2-0 here in the UK on Skysports. Oh well doesn't really matter anyway as not a lot separating the two teams and if your winning away in SL then you deserve to be near the top anyway.

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 6:16 GMT

    @Jamie Monaghan:- Watch this mate:- http://www.espncricinfo.com/sri-lanka-v-south-africa-2014/content/video_audio/763403.html?genre=8

    The commentators over there are saying a draw will give the Saffers number the 1 spot. Are they wrong?

  • on July 25, 2014, 6:08 GMT

    @Biggus. South Africa need to win 2-0 to reclaim top spot and at the moment the way SL are batting the game is heading for a draw unless SA dramatically collapse and lose which I very doubt on that flat pitch.

    @Raj. My point about Morkal and Co is that they haven't recently performed as they should as against Australia recently Morkal and Philander took a total of 14 wickets between them in 3 test matches , so without Steyn they wouldn't win as much as they do , and that's the same for all teams who have their star players.

  • OneEyedAussie on July 25, 2014, 5:44 GMT

    @Raj Sundararaman on (July 24, 2014, 16:10 GMT) : The only player that I am really worried about replacing is Harris. Pattinson and Cummins have promise but will remain injury prone over the next year or so as you mention. For Haddin and Rogers there are some good young players around in the wings. I expect Clarke and MJ to be around for another 3-4 years yet. I suppose that like Harris, Clarke and MJ will most likely play less and less limited overs cricket in order to prolong their test careers. I think you are also underestimating Smith's role in Australia's series wins against England and SA.

    @MinusZero on (July 25, 2014, 1:06 GMT): Watson is under scrutiny because his performances with the bat are not enough to warrant his selection as a batsman alone (which is how he sees himself). Given his talent and the resources available to him, he really should be averaging 45+. He really only has himself to blame.

  • siddhartha87 on July 25, 2014, 5:41 GMT

    Who cares what will happen 2-3 years later if they can dominate for next 2-3 years. They just need to perform series by series.

  • on July 25, 2014, 4:55 GMT

    @social_monster09: Jealousy?? If anything I am a big fan of Australian cricket! 2nd only to the Indian Cricket team and that is because I am Indian. Anyways, the big difference is the other countries are building their team around relatively younger players who will be around for 4-5 years at least. Not the same for Australia. Steve Smith is another who seems to have cemented his place, but the rest are all in the last couple of years of their career. That includes even Clarke! All I am saying is that they need a few more reliable younger players to continue their hold at the top.

  • social_monster09 on July 25, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    @Raj Sundararaman :-You said in your comment that Australia is built around Warner, Clarke, Johnson, Haddin and Harris. Each team is build up on it's 2 or 3 main player. SA is totally depends on Steyn, DeVillers & Amla. India is totally depends on Kohli, Pujara & their spinners. England on Cook, Bell & Anderson. Which team in your view is totally independent? The Aussies team of Waugh & Ponting was the team in which they never relied on any one, they were invincibles. But no team in current time is near to that. Everyone who is playing any sort of game will retires one day for sure. This is ur jealously to Aussie team that you say like that, but one thing is definite that Aussies are always the toughest team to beat anywhere. Ask the team who ever defeated Aussies in past they can tell you about the joy & confidence they gained to beat them. Only India is the team IMO that always gave us fight in India. Break the 16 consecutive victory trend & 4-0 defeat in 40 years.

  • dunger.bob on July 25, 2014, 2:51 GMT

    @ MinusZero : "When are they going to start believing Watson is actually test quality. He will be under scrutiny from his first ball of their next series." .. Obviously our selectors do or they wouldn't keep picking him. Personally I would've ended his Test career about 4 years ago when it became painfully obvious that he's got a good game in him once or twice a season. The rest of the time it's just unfulfilled promise.

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    @Mervo:- Yep, subcontinental spinners tend to struggle here because they're used to bowling darts on helpful pitches. If you can't beat the batsman in flight here you'll get hammered, simple as that. Personally I think Indian spin has really gone downhill over the years. Guys like Prasanna and Bedi were consumate masters of flight, and I simply don't see the same quality today, particularly in the case of Jadeja. Ashwin's a better bet but seems to be obsessed with bowling a different delivery every ball and employing gimmicks like that silly pause he resorts to on a regular basis. If the batsmen are attacking you the worst thing you can do is to flatten your trajectory. Spinners MUST attack in Australia. If they're after you you have to throw it up MORE, not less. It takes guts to do that, but that's the road to success. Dhoni has a part to play here, he must support his spinners if they do this and not resort to defensive field placings. Will he? We'll see.

  • Johnny_129 on July 25, 2014, 2:40 GMT

    I think it would be unfair of fans to expect Watson to be a great batsman. Considering that Watson started his career more as a bowling-all rounder. The fact that he has suffered injuries forces him to come through with the bat. He will be an average Test batsman, at best. But let us not belittle him and just expect him to do a fair job.

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    @MinusZero:-" When are they going to start believing Watson is actually test quality. He will be under scrutiny from his first ball of their next series."

    Anyone who doesn't perform so well as to be undroppable will always be under scrutiny. There are no free rides in Test Cricket. Many of us would like Watson to make more 'tough' runs, and our misgivings with him are based on his performances and not anything else. His critics, and I am amongst them, would like nothing more than to be silenced by Watson but at this point in time the jury is still out. We don't worship our players, they are but first amongst equals. Such is the nature of our society, reputations mean nothing, you either perform or you're out, and we make no apologies for that. Like the girl with the curls in the old ditty, when he's good he's very, very good, but when he's bad he's horrid.

  • MinusZero on July 25, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    When are they going to start believing Watson is actually test quality. He will be under scrutiny from his first ball of their next series.

  • on July 25, 2014, 0:59 GMT

    @Jamie: South African bowlers are not getting injured as frequently as the current crop of young Australian fast bowlers! It was the first time since he made his debut that Ryan Harris played so many matches continuously till he had his surgery earlier this year. You may be right about retirement for batsmen, but I believe both bowlers and even wicketkeepers will not last that long. As for Morkel not performing, he took 7 wickets in the first test against SL.

  • on July 25, 2014, 0:38 GMT

    @ Joshua Olsen. I cannot believe how badly you have misjudged Michael Clarke. He is not done by a long shot. I have followed his career closely since his extraordinary debut against India and what is striking to me now is the ruthlessness and hunger he has developed. I have never seen him as fired up as he was in that Ashes series. He wants what Steve Waugh had and he wont retire until he gets it. Everyone raves about the influence Lehmann has had on the team but in Australia, the Captain is the key - coaches to the groung, beers after the game is the Australian way. Lehmann's best work has been taking the pressure off Clarke and relaxing everyone in the side. If Australian cricket can stay this enthusiastic and hungry then the rest of the cricket world needs to look out.

  • Biggus on July 25, 2014, 0:04 GMT

    @Arun Bose:- I suspect that the wickets in Australia for the Indian tour will be pretty much as they always are, and just like the last time you guys were here. The only one I'd be a bit unsure about is Adelaide which of course has recently been converted to a drop in so the groundsman there may still be looking for the best techniques for the ground and climate. You guys already know what Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne play like. There won't be any instructions to groundsmen, in fact if Clarke tried that he'd be told to mind his own business.

    @Raj Sundararaman:- There's a distinct possibility we'll have lost the number 1 rating by Monday evening. My understanding is that all the Saffers have to do to regain it is draw their current game Vs SL. Most of us are not too worried about the rating, we just want our guys to give their best.

  • nakihunter on July 24, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    The current Indian spinners need to learn to bowl the right length and line as well as flight in Australian conditions. Harbajan struggled in Australia. Kumble had mixed success. The old legends Prasanna, Bedi & Chandra did well on most Australian wickets.

    Shane Warne was a total failure against India as he did not learn to bowl to Indian batsmen or in Indian conditions.

    On the other hand Monty Panesar & Graeme Swan bowled superbly against Indian batsmen & in India.

    So Team India needs to seriously consider this issue.

  • dunger.bob on July 24, 2014, 23:49 GMT

    I've got no doubt in my mind that Clarke is one of the best captains I've ever seen. Even though the homework-gate incident was clearly wrong in many peoples eyes, it doesn't surprise me that Clarke is standing by his role in it. Who knows, maybe a kick up the backside was exactly the right thing to do in the circumstances. Anyway, it's history now and there's nothing to be gained by dwelling on it.

    @ Arun Bose: Yep, you've nailed it. Australia will prepare it's pitches in the same way we've been doing it for the last 100 years or so. Brisbane will remain the best cricket pitch in the country and the others will display their traditional qualities as well. The only instructions our groundsmen will get is to prepare a good cricket wicket. There will be something there for everyone and the pitches will evolve and change over the course of the game. .. It will be the same as it ever was. If the Indian bowlers enjoy the quick, bouncy wickets as much as our bowlers then good on them.

  • on July 24, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    Frequency of ashes series must be reduced to avoid losing event's pride.

  • Mervo on July 24, 2014, 21:34 GMT

    Prashanth Narasimhan Ashokan, if you think that the Indian seamers will 'bowl as well as the Aussie Bowlers (insert here actual 'fast' bowlers), then you have not been watching much cricket this last year or so. Granted the Indian spinners in India do well, but their record here, without variation of flight, are really poor.

  • on July 24, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    @Edwind. But Haddin is 36 and keeping and batting better than most other keepers in the world , far better keeping that what we have seen in the India v England series so far. Point is if they are performing still then age shouldn't matter as same goes for Rogers as he has smashed double hundreds this year etc too.

  • on July 24, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    @Prashanth Narsimhan- First of all, Australia doesn't prepare green wickets(Very rarely they do) as in Australia you will find seaming conditions more than swinging.. Australian wickets offers more bounce than in any other country and the hot conditions doesn't help with the swing either.. Swing and seam are two different things.. And second, If Australia prepare flat tracks then their bowlers also would become ineffective as we witnessed that in India last year during that famous ODI series in Sep-Oct.. India chased down 350+ runs twice in that series and they were flat tracks as well.. So, Australia isn't fool enough to prepare flat tracks against India.. Practically speaking, I would like to see traditional bouncy pitches in Australia so that our bowlers too have an edge.. The contest would be b/w Indian batting vs Australian bowling.. If Indian batting clicks then who knows it would turn out to be the most exciting test series ever b/w these two sides.. Let's hope for the best.

  • on July 24, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    I can not wait for the series in UAE. If the pitches favour spin Ajmal is going to tear through the Australian batting. These guys couldnt keep out Indian spinners on slow turners and Ajmal is the true magician of spin bowling in world cricket...and this is coming from an India fan. If even one Pakistan batsman can fire per innings on turning pitches....I foresee another whitewash for the no1 test team.

  • EdwinD on July 24, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    @Jamie - the difference is that Chanderpaul is a batsman only - Harris and Haddin have much more physically-demanding positions which require high levels of fitness.

  • m0se on July 24, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Well, Clarke has shown he has a strong backbone with his statements and hit back at his critics.

  • lthornte on July 24, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    I'm looking forward more to how Australia go in the UAE. Australia isn't traditionally a strong player of spin bowling and i'd give Pakistan a real chance if the pitches are similar to that in the Eng vs Pak series of a couple of years ago.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    @raj. I don't get this whole retirement thing , as look at Chanderpaul as he is 41 and going strong so don't see why other players can keep playing if they are making runs. And your logic too on players being injured well that applies for every country as how bad would SA be in SL currently had Steyn been injured as Philander and Morkal have done nothing really or what would India do if Inshant and Kumar got injured?

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    If Australia prepares a green track, Indian seamers will bowl just as well as the Aussie bowlers. If Australia produce dust bowl or spin tracks, Indian spinners will bowl better than Australian spinners. The best way for Australia to beat India is to produce flat tracks. With not much support from the pitch, the Indian bowling attack will be crestfallen soon and owing to the extra pace that the Aussie bowlers can generate, they will trouble Indian batsman more than what Indian bowlers can do to Australia. England cannot trouble India in that manner using flat tracks, as Anderson, Broad, Jordan aren't that pacey, Stokes can bowl quick, but not ball after ball for long. So it all comes down to Plunkett and if he goes the short ball way, then no batsman will be troubled.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    @Raj completely agree we (Australia) have a lot of cricket against teams we hate to lose too apparently we also have a tour of the West Indies between the World Cup and The Ashes as well. With a home world cup and series against India and England the two teams we like beating the most it will be hard for Australia to sustain their current form.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    I have a bad feeling that with all this cricket we are going to have a lot of injuries and maybe not a lot too show for it. Clarke for one doesn't have too many years left although carrying the team for the past 3 years like he did will do that.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    It is going to be interesting to see how long the Aussies hold on to the #1 position. A couple of injuries, 1-2 retirements which are not that far away, they could very well be back to the middle of the list. This team is built around Warner, Clarke, Johnson, Haddin and Harris. The last 2 are close to retirement, Johnson may have a couple of more years at the peak and nobody knows how long Clarke's back will last. The young pacers cannot seem to get through even 1 series fully. They only have a tenuous hold on the mace.

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  • on July 24, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    It is going to be interesting to see how long the Aussies hold on to the #1 position. A couple of injuries, 1-2 retirements which are not that far away, they could very well be back to the middle of the list. This team is built around Warner, Clarke, Johnson, Haddin and Harris. The last 2 are close to retirement, Johnson may have a couple of more years at the peak and nobody knows how long Clarke's back will last. The young pacers cannot seem to get through even 1 series fully. They only have a tenuous hold on the mace.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    I have a bad feeling that with all this cricket we are going to have a lot of injuries and maybe not a lot too show for it. Clarke for one doesn't have too many years left although carrying the team for the past 3 years like he did will do that.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    @Raj completely agree we (Australia) have a lot of cricket against teams we hate to lose too apparently we also have a tour of the West Indies between the World Cup and The Ashes as well. With a home world cup and series against India and England the two teams we like beating the most it will be hard for Australia to sustain their current form.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    If Australia prepares a green track, Indian seamers will bowl just as well as the Aussie bowlers. If Australia produce dust bowl or spin tracks, Indian spinners will bowl better than Australian spinners. The best way for Australia to beat India is to produce flat tracks. With not much support from the pitch, the Indian bowling attack will be crestfallen soon and owing to the extra pace that the Aussie bowlers can generate, they will trouble Indian batsman more than what Indian bowlers can do to Australia. England cannot trouble India in that manner using flat tracks, as Anderson, Broad, Jordan aren't that pacey, Stokes can bowl quick, but not ball after ball for long. So it all comes down to Plunkett and if he goes the short ball way, then no batsman will be troubled.

  • on July 24, 2014, 16:44 GMT

    @raj. I don't get this whole retirement thing , as look at Chanderpaul as he is 41 and going strong so don't see why other players can keep playing if they are making runs. And your logic too on players being injured well that applies for every country as how bad would SA be in SL currently had Steyn been injured as Philander and Morkal have done nothing really or what would India do if Inshant and Kumar got injured?

  • lthornte on July 24, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    I'm looking forward more to how Australia go in the UAE. Australia isn't traditionally a strong player of spin bowling and i'd give Pakistan a real chance if the pitches are similar to that in the Eng vs Pak series of a couple of years ago.

  • m0se on July 24, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Well, Clarke has shown he has a strong backbone with his statements and hit back at his critics.

  • EdwinD on July 24, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    @Jamie - the difference is that Chanderpaul is a batsman only - Harris and Haddin have much more physically-demanding positions which require high levels of fitness.

  • on July 24, 2014, 17:03 GMT

    I can not wait for the series in UAE. If the pitches favour spin Ajmal is going to tear through the Australian batting. These guys couldnt keep out Indian spinners on slow turners and Ajmal is the true magician of spin bowling in world cricket...and this is coming from an India fan. If even one Pakistan batsman can fire per innings on turning pitches....I foresee another whitewash for the no1 test team.

  • on July 24, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    @Prashanth Narsimhan- First of all, Australia doesn't prepare green wickets(Very rarely they do) as in Australia you will find seaming conditions more than swinging.. Australian wickets offers more bounce than in any other country and the hot conditions doesn't help with the swing either.. Swing and seam are two different things.. And second, If Australia prepare flat tracks then their bowlers also would become ineffective as we witnessed that in India last year during that famous ODI series in Sep-Oct.. India chased down 350+ runs twice in that series and they were flat tracks as well.. So, Australia isn't fool enough to prepare flat tracks against India.. Practically speaking, I would like to see traditional bouncy pitches in Australia so that our bowlers too have an edge.. The contest would be b/w Indian batting vs Australian bowling.. If Indian batting clicks then who knows it would turn out to be the most exciting test series ever b/w these two sides.. Let's hope for the best.