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March 5, 2013
Michael Clarke has confirmed that he will move up the order from his customary No. 5 position after Australia's shambolic display in both innings in Hyderabad. Clarke is the joint leading run-scorer in the series with 268, the same tally as India's captain MS Dhoni, and more than double scored by any other member of Australia's top six.
He scored 130 in the first innings in Chennai and followed that with 91 on the first day in Hyderabad but neither effort could prevent a heavy defeat. Despite his outstanding form since taking over the captaincy in 2011, Clarke has steadfastly remained at No. 5, but given the struggles of Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson at Nos. 3 and 4 in this series, that will change for the third Test.
"I think I have no choice," Clarke said after the innings loss in Hyderabad. "Again, it hasn't been about me, it's about trying to do what's best for the team, and I think now, especially in these conditions, I have to bat higher."
When asked if that would mean first drop or second drop, Clarke said: "I've got nine days to work it out. Wherever I can go and put some runs on the board to help the team."
Although Ed Cowan showed some signs during the second innings that he had learnt from his first three efforts and occupied the crease for nearly three hours, the rest of the batting order collapsed. So far in this series Watson has made 28, 17, 23 and 9; Hughes has scored 6, 0, 19 and 0; Cowan has managed 29, 32, 4 and 44 and Warner has tallied 59, 23, 6 and 26.
"I don't think picking your batting order can revolve around one person, the team needs the team to play well," Clarke said. "We need our top six batters to be scoring runs, we need our four, five or six bowlers to be taking wickets. It can't be about one person. I've never played cricket that way and I don't want this team to go to that.
"We have enough talent, but we have to get better, every single one of us. I would have liked more runs in the first innings and more runs today in the second innings, so I have work to do as well. I don't want it to be about the individuals, I want it to be about the whole team improving.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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Alastair Cook has got used to feeling of the axe hanging over him. Only his team-mates can save England now
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity