England v Australia, NatWest Series, Old Trafford July 10, 2012

Clarke digests first series loss


Australia's captain Michael Clarke is digesting the first series defeat of his reign, and its nature cannot go down easily. Clarke's team was kicked around Old Trafford as England completed a 4-0 victory, the heaviest defeat of an Australian ODI side in any bilateral series in the 41-year history of limited overs internationals.

The tourists were given still more reason to recall the tour unhappily by a hamstring injury to David Hussey, preventing him from fielding in the seven-wicket defeat. Clarke said the series reflected a wider problem in the team's limited-overs cricket over the period of his captaincy, given that it had been preceded by battling series victories over Sri Lanka and South Africa away, before a triangular series win at home and a tied encounter in the Caribbean.

However he would not countenance the result as a "wake-up call" to the national side generally, given how strongly the Test team's results had improved over Clarke's tenure. "It's a completely different team, completely different format so I don't want to compare the Test team with the one-day team," Clarke said. "It's a reminder, not a wake-up call. We knew through the Australian summer we weren't playing anywhere near as good a cricket as we needed to be against Sri Lanka and India.

"We went to the West Indies and just got over the line there so it's not like this is the first series where we haven't played as well as we'd like. Our one-day cricket hasn't been as consistent as it needs to be if we want to stay at the top of the table. Hence how close the first, second, third and fourth are on the rankings points now. We've got a lot of work to do as a one-day team."

The ODI side has been used as a way of providing opportunities for numerous players to press their claims for other formats. Some like George Bailey have shown tentative progress, but others like Peter Forrest and Steve Smith are now struggling to justify their selection, developmental or otherwise.

"It's certainly not about opportunity. We're giving plenty of guys the opportunity to grab it with both hands," Clarke said. "There's a few players that haven't experienced these conditions so that was a good taste of it. Against good opposition in international sport you've just got to find a way to win, whether it's with the bat, with the ball in the field. Good teams do that, they'll be down or they'll lose the first match of the series, but they'll find a way to turn it around, and we haven't been good enough to do that so that's an area we have to improve.

"We need to play better cricket. We need to sit down as a team and have a look at our performances over the last 12 months and areas we need to get better. It certainly wasn't preparation. I thought our training was outstanding and we played some really good cricket in the couple of warm-up games but we have no excuses.

"I think a lot of credit needs to go to England as well. They've outplayed us in all four matches, they've been very consistent, their bowlers have bowled with good patience and discipline and their batters have made runs. We haven't done both. We didn't have anybody make a big score as a batter, we lost a lot of early wickets throughout the series and we didn't execute our skills as well as you need to."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on July 13, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    @5wombats on (July 13 2012, 08:24 AM GMT) Actually I think WI are slightly behind India in the T20 rankings too.A shame they couldn't squeeze another T20 in vs that very weak NZ side. I do actually find it quite mind boggling at times how folk remember the Ind (OD) whitewash and Pak test whitewash but forget the Eng 4-0 win in UAE. I even just went on the womens ODI thread and one or 2 were at it there saying Eng can't win a match without rain. One guy said India lost the mens ODI series in England to rain? It's quite strange I've looked at all the ICC rankings tables and could not see "Rain" listed anywhere. I thought Rain would be above England in all 3 formats. PS I like these posters who say "only good in own conditions" like they've discovered a new theory .... BTW I've just invented a round wheel. Please publish

  • Andrew on July 13, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    @5wombats - can't wait for the showdown, the cricket will be good too!

  • Martin on July 13, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    @Meety you know what - you've graduated. With your absolute lack of excuses re; 4-0 you have just joined the elite group of Australian posters that I would buy a drink for. In your case - a midi...... Ha ha! See you next year :-)

  • Martin on July 13, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    @ JG2704 on (July 12 2012, 08:25 AM GMT) LOL - your reply to @dariuscorny! Never mind india crashing from 1st to 4th in the Test rankings in just 9 months; The funny part is indias T20i Ranking - do you know who are the 2 teams immediately below india in the T20 ranking table? .... Ireland and then Afghanistan...!! Wonderful things aren't they - facts.

  • Dummy4 on July 13, 2012, 8:08 GMT

    hey guys the problem for all cricketting side s are more or less same ,They are superior at home and slaughted abroad,Its not conclused just to India even Australia and England feeling the same.Australia World No 1 ODI side clobbered in England and England World best Test side Anihaletd by Pakistan in dubai and drubbed India in India in ODI

  • Andrew on July 13, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    @OzzyHammond- saw your slip up on the on (July 11 2012, 23:56 PM GMT) - "Would WE be allowed to gloat then?". Apart from the fact I don't have to "better admit" anything, I have no qualms about the selectors having far more knowledge about cricketing matters than myself. That matter does not preclude me from having an opinion (although unfortunate that @zenboomerang thinks that any opinion is fine as long as it is his). The "best we got" comment can be taken from many different angles, & the context of the article was in relation to tests. There have been recent articles on this very website that have suggested that there were better "qualified" ODI players (in particular batsmen), not selected. BTW Ferguson averages 60+ in ODIs in Eng @ a S/R over 90. I have said that I support the theory behind the selection policies of late, just theory is not working in practise. Also - I have acknowledged England's superiority thru-out this series, so I have no excuses.

  • Martin on July 12, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    @landl47 Agreed about that famous Test & ODI hater cpt.meanster and all the other snipers. They took a beating they'll never forget in England and even while it was happening - they were forgetting it. They said it was a "fluke". Then they went to Australia full of the joys of Spring proclaiming that it was a "fluke" that England beat Aus, and that Aus were "there for the taking" (LOL). Then Aus handed india another beating that they'll never forget and they promptly forgot that too. Suddenly and mysteriously many indian fans became Pakistan fans when we were taking a beating in the UAE Tests, but most just as quickly disappeared when we started winning the ODIs. They claim England "can't win in the subcontinent" - which must mean that Sri Lanka is not in the sub-continent. And when England lost the Tests in the UAE - the UAE was in the sub-continent - but when England won the ODIs there, suddenly - it wasn't. A desperate group of people in a state of panic, hope is all they have.

  • John on July 12, 2012, 21:38 GMT

    @ shrastogi on (July 12 2012, 19:02 PM GMT) To be fair to the Australians they are almost certainly better than what they showed here and Australia did also win the ODI series in SA. Maybe they're on a downward spiral but it could just be a blip. They were I believe undefeated in ODIs series for a few years and unbeaten in tests since the last Ashes series.

  • Shantanu on July 12, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    If you've played in invincible Aussie teams of yore the arrogance is bound to be there. The sooner you realise harsh reality the better you would cope with it. English one day side in England has been playing very good cricket especially their bowlers but look at what Watson was quoted before the series begin. He said Wade at 7 gives them edge without giving due respect to English bowlers. That is arrogance without realising strength of opposition. You have tied a series with WI, beaten an Indian side ,which rarely plays well in Australia & SA and was burdened with out of form players - demoralised due to 4-0 test whitewash & overaged Tendulkar, at home and struggled to beat SL even there. Your new batsmen except Warner hasnt set any field on fire so the reality was harsh. Now I dont see a top place remaining with Australia but with new players you should hope to be 2 or 3 and then hope to build. You may still do ok on flat pitches but in conditions bowler enjoy you have to work hard.

  • John on July 12, 2012, 12:31 GMT

    @ dariuscorny - PS , I didn't say England were a brilliant side did I?

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