India v Australia 2008-09 / News

India in Australia 2008-09

Shoulders won't droop, says Clarke

Cricinfo staff

October 22, 2008

Text size: A | A


Michael Clarke insists Australia will stay positive © Getty Images
Enlarge
 

The last time Australia was behind in a Test series was the 2005 Ashes when the side unravelled by the day and was a gloomy shadow by the finish. Michael Clarke was in England three years ago and is certain the mood in this team will remain much brighter despite the 320-run thrashing in Mohali.

"Things just seemed to continue to roll on in that Ashes series and we couldn't pull anything back," Clarke said. "I don't think that's like that here. We've still seen some very good individual performances so far, we just need the whole team to click."

Australia were out-batted and out-bowled throughout the second Test and when the players return from three days off they will work on ways to counter India's reverse-swing, spin and increasingly aggressive attitude. And in the field there is a requirement to build more pressure against batsmen who have been ready to explode.

The Mohali result means Australia have not beaten India in their past four Tests, starting with the loss in Perth in the aftermath of the Sydney affair. A run without success like that hasn't happened since 2005 either, but Clarke is not worried about the team's No. 1 ranking being in danger.

"The reality is it's not the first Test I've lost for Australia and it certainly won't be the last," he said. "We'll enjoy the time off, get back in and prepare for third test - let's hope it's 1-1 after that." Clarke will rest with his girlfriend Lara Bingle before she heads to London for a modelling job.

As vice-captain, Clarke has extra responsibility before Wednesday's third Test, but the debrief started with a few beers at the team hotel on Tuesday night. There were no naughty-boy nets and when the squad reconvenes in Delhi there will be team meetings, but not a dramatic overhaul.

"With my experience in India, (I can say) it's a place you can be brought down so quickly," he said. "It can also go the other way. With one good innings, it can turn around so quickly. We've still got a lot of experience, we know the conditions."

Clarke had a slow opening to the series with two failures in Bangalore followed by his last-over dismissal to Amit Mishra in the first innings in Mohali. He was pleased to break through with 69 before he confirmed the loss and was the last man out.

"When I look at my own performance I've been disappointed I haven't been as successful as I would have liked," he said. "I've put time into preparation and gone to nets during the days when we've batted to get a lot of practice."

Clarke is aware of India's fine record in Delhi, but is not about to call for changes in Australia's slow-bowling make-up. On Wednesday the curator at the Feroz Shah Kotla said the pitch would be a present to Anil Kumble.

Clarke said his bowing had been "okay" in the first two Tests, but he will need to create some more incisions to help the team in the third game. "I know the wicket coming up in Delhi has suited India and I see that as a great challenge," he said. "I know we're going to have to face some good spinners and some good reverse-swing bowlers."

Overall Clarke said Australia's approach would not change. "I remember after the first Test when we had a draw and we were getting on the bus and Punter said to Peter Siddle: 'Mate, you won't see too many results like that in this team.' And it's true. In the Australian team we win, we want to win every game we play."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
ESPNcricinfo staffClose
Related Links
Players/Officials: Michael Clarke
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of India
Teams: Australia | India
Tour Results
India v Australia at Nagpur - Nov 6-10, 2008
India won by 172 runs
India v Australia at Delhi - Oct 29-Nov 2, 2008
Match drawn
India v Australia at Mohali - Oct 17-21, 2008
India won by 320 runs
India v Australia at Bangalore - Oct 9-13, 2008
Match drawn
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days