Sri Lanka v Australia, 1st ODI, Pallekele August 9, 2011

Clarke expects hard-fought ODI series


Australia captain Michael Clarke has said that he expects a tough five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka. Clarke takes over as captain from Cameron White, who led the team in the two Twenty20s but is not in the one-day or Test teams.

"Sri Lanka has shown that they are playing some good cricket at the moment in the T-20 matches," Clarke said. "They love playing in their home conditions and it looks like that we will have lot of spin to face. We have obviously seen their bowlers a lot over the years, but there's no guarantee that we are going to have any success. The conditions are very tough to play spin bowling. We have to be at our best and we have to be playing well. I can guarantee that all the boys are excited."

The first game will take place at the Pallakele Stadium on Wednesday and Clarke said the pitch looked fantastic. "Once you get in as a batter, it's a beautiful place to bat. It's just going to be tough to start off the spinners. But look we don't expect anything different throughout the tour. We know wickets are going to be conducive to spin bowling."

Australia lost both T20 Internationals prior to Clarke's arrival, which he said was a good indication that they need to get better in conditions that suit spin. "The boys have been training hard. That's been our main focus in the last couple of months. We are really working hard on our preparations and putting in lot of time and energy in trying to get better. We know that we need to improve in all facets of the game. Few of the boys who have come with the ODI side are good players of spin and hopefully that will help us out."

Sri Lanka spinner Ajantha Mendis took 6 for 16 in the second T20, the best figures in the format's international history, and Clarke said that his batters were looking forward to the challenge of facing him. "He's a very good bowler and he has success in his career in all three formats of the game. We know that he's a tough competitor and he spins the ball in both directions. That makes it harder for the batters. We have faced him before and it's going to make our job hard.

"We are looking forward for the challenge. We have obviously seen their bowlers a lot over the years but there's no guarantee that we are going to have any success."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Gayan on August 11, 2011, 4:01 GMT

    @Meety Who cares about steven smith he is such useless player in australian side even jeewan mendis is a lot better leg spinner than him He can't bat properly either.If it's not a whitewash at least sri lanka will win the series against australians comprehensively.

  • Andrew on August 10, 2011, 22:13 GMT

    @Viz-from-OZ - I don't think many 'non-asians' begrudge slower turning pitches. IMO - bouncier pitches lead to a more dynamic game of cricket, (cross bat shot etc). I would say that slow turning pitches basically retard home grown pace attacks - making overseas results poorer.

  • Rajaram on August 10, 2011, 6:56 GMT

    Sri Lanka is in for a surprise. Australia thrashed Sri Lanka in 2004. Australia will win both - the ODI series AND the Test Series.

  • Randolph on August 10, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    @YaZi El GamaGe, It appears you are as naive as the Indian fans were in predicting a whitewash in England.

  • Bhagya on August 10, 2011, 4:20 GMT

    @ indian_rockers_2015_champs::Really?????Really????Really?????.I don't know who will win.But i know SL will give a great fight.I hope Aus does the same too.May the best team win.But I support Sri Lanka.

  • Jeremy on August 10, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    Sri Lanka are not good enough to win any ODIs against Australia. Watto will shine and Hussey will too!

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2011, 3:43 GMT

    @ Agha Azeem Ur Rehman well i can understand your jealousy towards sri lankan cricket, because pakistan will get a home series in this century . LOL

  • nayan on August 10, 2011, 2:51 GMT

    australia will win 5-0..................

  • Viz on August 10, 2011, 2:43 GMT

    Don't know if it's just me but when sub continent teams tour Australia the headlines are usually bouncy wickets, chin music and how bad they are away from home conditions. On the other hand when Australia tours the likes of SL, the chatter is more around slow spinning wickets that's bad for the game because it gives an advantage to the home team. It's interesting how it's portrayed that in both cases one side get's the moral high ground. I must admit with the current tour there is a lot less of this type of commentary and journalism. Looks as if the tide is turning, I just hope that a balance can be found. The great thing about SL & Aus now is that the commentators that are used are well versed in both countries strengths & weaknesses(eg: Moody, Tony ) as opposed to times when Chappel brother used to comment on was so one sided, had no clue about the other side. Another great thing about these sides are non interference of money & cricket boards.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2011, 1:48 GMT

    You have to beat the best to be th best.Aus no 1 team in the world,and you have to beat them to be the no1 side,Which SL could be in the future.

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