Australia v India, Commonwealth Bank Series, Adelaide February 12, 2012

'Got to make sure we are concentrating' - Clarke

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Australia were not switched on tonight. There were fumbles, there were missed direct-hits, there were poor throws, and India - who at times batted equally sluggishly - were let off the hook. Michael Clarke, nursing a sore hamstring himself, called the fielding effort horrible and said that Australia will need to be much better if they are to win matches in the rest of the competition.

More than the others, there were three crucial moments where Australia slipped. Early on in MS Dhoni's innings, Ricky Ponting fumbled before hitting the stumps at the non-striker's end, allowing Dhoni ample time to make his ground. Then, with 29 to defend off 22 balls, Ravindra Jadeja was all but run out but for Ryan Harris's poor throw from point. In the next over Dhoni was dead again, only for Clarke to miss a direct hit from an arm's length.

"I think it's concentration more than anything," Clarke said. "If you look at myself, Ricky Ponting and also Dave Warner, we fumbled a few balls tonight, and we are better than that. You can't blame anyone else when you are not performing as well as you like. We just got to make sure we are concentrating, and we are ready for every ball. It [Adelaide Oval] is as nice a ground as anywhere in the world. It's a beautiful outfield, very flat. We have no excuses for our performance tonight. We just weren't good enough."

Clarke couldn't say if this lack in concentration could be put down to fatigue from a long season, but he said he was not queuing up to rest. "It's international cricket, another chance to play for Australia, and you want to perform every single time you do that," Clarke said. "Has it been a long summer? Well it has been a great summer for us so far. I can only talk about me personally: I feel like I am hitting the ball sweet, I feel I am training hard, and I am really keen to play every game at the moment.

"Like all the guys, no one wants to rest. It's just about managing the workloads, and making sure we are putting guys on the park that we think can help us win the game, [that ones that] give us the best chance of winning the game. If there is a time that we feel boys are a little tired, we would do that [rest players] as we have done with Michael Hussey. It's just about assessing the team."

Both of India's win against Australia this season have come in games where Matthew Wade has been pushed down the order. Clarke joked this was the last time it had happened. "I think Wadey can play in both areas," he said. "He is good against fast bowling and he is good at the top of the order, and he is good at the death and he has done that for Victoria. Just a bit of a change in the order. I thought we'd try something else tonight. Did it work? We did pretty well, we made 270, we could have made a few more runs. But that's the way it goes."

Clarke and Australia have a big day on Monday. Clarke will have his sore hamstring scanned, and they have to select the team for the next few games. "I'll probably have a scan tomorrow, and then we'll go from there. It's a little bit sore, I have just had some ice on it. Fingers crossed, hopefully everything is okay."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on February 13, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    i think ponting should be the captain....for next game....ang ferguson should also be included

  • Rajiv007 on February 13, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    I think VVS wud had done better than some of the hyped Aussie fielders... :) We also outfeilded them during last T20... Retire Mr. Pointing !

  • sabee66 on February 13, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    I think Australia is TIRED of winning every game, Crowd and Sponsers want them to let India few games at least...................lol

  • a1234s on February 13, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    People forget that India put the aussies under pressure on the field.

    The fast running between the wickets created those fielding lapses.

    How I wish the Indians had shown this urgency in the tests.

  • joseyesu on February 13, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    Alright, you want to rotate teh players. But why do you switch the places.I can understand when somebody is not playing well, you can protect him and give another place to prove his talent. But why Wade, who is performing well in top position and moved to 7th. And both matches he did not scored well. I hope you will do it again to prove you are right as like dhoni.

  • trumpoz on February 13, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    there were three things that won the game for india....... and none of them include MS Dhoni becuase in all reality India should have win with 5 overs to spare. 1) The final 10 overs of the Australian batting. The Indian bowlers bowled brilliantly - gave nothing for the Aussies to really get after. 2) Australia's fielding..... enough said. 3) The age-old problem for Australia...... bowling at the death. YORKERS! YORKERS and more YORKERS!!! If you slightly overpitch, fine. You can set fields to that, it makes it hard for batsman to get under the ball. If a batsman wants to play a ramp or a scoop - good luck they are risking their wicket (and personal safety). Take note of what was being done in T20 - full, wide, yorkers. THe odd wide was called, but it is much harder to hit those for 4 than a predictable good length ball.

  • zenboomerang on February 13, 2012, 6:02 GMT

    We expect captains to lead by example & Clarke has lead the way in this series... lol... Clarke's captaincy in ODI's is becoming disgraceful - really poor against SL but just as bad against India... Dropping M Hussey for Ponting who is in another slump - again... Brainfade... Opening with Ponting while out of form - brainfade... Running out Warner - brainfade... Putting Harris at point - brainfade... Not bowling D Hussey more - brainfade... Poor use of bowlers in last 10 overs - brainfade... Forget about the poor fielding - complain about the poor captaincy by Clarke...

  • rust01 on February 13, 2012, 5:27 GMT

    Those Indians on here complaining about the Oz commentators must be listening to something different. I think you guys are writing this just so you can have a whinge about something. The commentators were full of praise for India, but don't let the truth get in the way of a whinge.

  • farkin on February 13, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    they should rest ponting for the rest of the Commonwealth Bank Series

  • dummy4fb on February 13, 2012, 3:31 GMT

    well both teams were under pressure..as an indian, i just looked at one side of coin that indian team is under pressure..but, forgot that even australia was under pressure...the team which would have handled the pressure better would have emerged victorious and last night, it was india..

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