Australia v England, 5th ODI, Brisbane January 30, 2011

Clarke deserves some goodwill

Michael Clarke is no prima donna leader, but large chunks of the Australian cricket public still haven't warmed to him
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The fifth ODI was dedicated to charity but there wasn't much given to the captain Michael Clarke. For so long the anointed leader, Clarke is out of form as well as being out of favour in large sections of Australia.

Of course big parts of the country quite like him, but boos usually find a way to drown out the cheers, as Clarke discovered when he walked out to bat at the Gabba this afternoon. Jeering the leader has been a popular past-time this summer, whether it was the England fans targeting Ricky Ponting during the first four Tests, or the locals showing displeasure at Clarke's elevation when the incumbent was injured.

Pockets jangled with coins headed for the collectors' buckets, raising money for the Queensland flood victims, but there was only sympathy for Clarke after he was welcomed with boos. After that most supporters clapped him extra hard when he hit three boundaries in his first 13 deliveries, and later brought up his first one-day half-century since the game here against Sri Lanka in November.

He was also applauded loudly, with some standing in acknowledgment, as he left with 54 off 74 deliveries, an innings which became the high point of Australia's 248. A handful of angry radio listeners texted apologies to Clarke for the behaviour of the people in the stands, especially on a day throbbing with community spirit.

It probably happened to Mark Taylor in 1996-97 - although most of his most famous slump occurred overseas - and Greg Chappell can't have been popular during his duck run in the early 1980s, but turning on the leader is a rare event in Australia. Booing the opposition is standard, as Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen re-discovered tonight, but Clarke is a victim of the displeasure in the early stages of his captaincy.

"Obviously you'd like people to be cheering but I can understand why a few of them were booing," Clarke said. "I've had a lot of support throughout this time, I haven't performed as well as I'd like, so I don't blame the public for being disappointed with my performances. It was nice to finally contribute and help the boys get a win. It was a great feeling."

All the unwanted attention is extra strange because his team is doing so well. Under Clarke the side has moved on quickly from the Ashes defeat and the 51-run success gave Australia a 4-1 lead, sealing the series with two games remaining.

The best way for him to win the adoration is to score fluent runs, but that has become increasingly difficult over a summer without much love. What he has shown is his dedication to exiting his slump, even if it is not paying off yet.

He has given up the associated riches of Twenty20 by retiring from the international format to focus on Tests and ODIs. This week he was so desperate for a decent bat that he suggested to the Australian hierarchy that he turn out for his Sydney club side. The request was rejected. Those two actions are not the behaviour of a prima donna leader, but a man who wants to excel for himself and his country.

As a person Clarke can be generous. The day before this game he walked on to the Gabba with a group of under-9s from a Brisbane club side to spend time with them, just like he did on Friday with school children affected by the floods. Part of it was his job, but there is more to him than professional duty.

Like all of his team-mates, he donated his entire match fee to the flood appeal. "It was a no-brainer for the boys," Clarke said. "Everyone is doing that and the boys are signing a shirt as well.

"It's great to see so many people in this country be willing to put their hand in their pockets for such a wonderful cause. A lot of people have been devastated by what's happened and the least we can do is donate a bit of our money and our time. That's a reason why it's even more special tonight to get a victory. It's great we've won the series."

By the end of the game the tally from Cricket Australia and its supporters had reached approximately A$6million, a phenomenal amount of financial support. Over the next week, before the team leaves for the World Cup, Clarke deserves some goodwill too.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • grundyalex on February 1, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    It's so much Clarke as a person that seems to be the problem. It's more Clarke as a Captain. Plus, Queenslanders respect Ricky Ponting, he's proven he deserves the respect a captain deserves. Clarke being handed it on a silver platter in the middle of a form dslump looks bad more than anything. Still, booing your own players is pretty poor form.

  • OptimusPrimal on February 1, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    All the greats have had some kind of slump in their cricketing careers. Clarkey is going through his and soon he will get out of it. The important thing is that Australian cricket has found in Clarke another great leader who can take the sport to new levels. Hussey has been tried and found lacking. Watson is too young and I believe won't be able to handle the entanglements of captaincy. Bottom line is that runs will eventually come, but possessing an awesome cricketing brain with great leadership qualities is the domain of very few.

  • Something_Witty on February 1, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    To be honest, I think the reason for Clarke's lack of popularity is simply an extension of his lack of form. - He represents what has gone wrong for Aus cricket over the past 6 months or so. i.e. Selectors sticking with out of form players over a long period of time. - The problem is, Clarke is a proven performer who deserves his spot in the side. (Certainly the test side, still not 100% convinced about his ODI spot). The issue was that the selectors were sticking with players who were obviously not quite up to test standard (North, arguably Haddin, etc.). Now that they are gone, people still want those lacking form to be dropped, but Clarke is too good a player to be dropped because of one form slump. Anyway, once he starts making runs again, the public will fall back in love with him quickly enough. - Just look at Watto, he used to be nearly everyone's biggest peeve. "Looks like tarzan plays like Jane" etc. Now he is the absolute golden boy, and deservedly so.

  • Meety on January 31, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    @Hayden Brennan - I know there is a alot of dislike for Clarke - but to say most fans want him gone is incorrect if you include fans who are not old enough to be blogging here. I am talking about kids between 6 & 18 yrs of age. WHy - because he is very generous with his time & does alot with coaching & signing autographs (they all do - but he does more than most), despite being booed he was one of the last to stop signing autographs at the GABBA the other night. Most people who I've spoken to who have said they dislike Clarke can't put forward a reason. He is probably the most highest profile cricketer of the X-Box generation & so he probably annoys some stick in the muds.

  • boooonnie on January 31, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    I never have, nor ever will boo the captain of the Australian cricket team. Neither would i ever go visit another country and boo their captain on THEIR turf. Call me old school but when play I still call the umpires "Sir" and accept bad decisions on the chin. I fear I am one of the dying breed. PS. Go Clarke there are plenty of Aust discerning cricket fans who appreciate what you're doing! Form is temporary, class is permenant!

  • straight_drive4 on January 31, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    gilly4ever only represents victorians. he does not represent australian fans as a whole. whenever he makes a suggestion, coincidently it is a victorian that should come into the side.

  • _Australian_ on January 31, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Booing anybody, supported or not is just plain offensive. Surely you can think of something better to say than boo. @Gilly4ever. Time to deal with the facts. Clarke is here to stay and deservedly so. Hodge is done with. Your CD is skipping buddy. I am over hearing the same story. I am sure others feel the same way.

  • Something_Witty on January 31, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @popcorn, any comments regarding Steve Smith now? ;) Clarke has actually been very impressive captaincy-wise. People saying that he is a poor captain obviously haven't been paying too much attention!

  • on January 31, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    @Thevas Yes Matthew Hayden ended his form slump with a ton in the final ashes test, but do you really remember what happened? he batted for 3 days, and constantly walked off the field by accepting the bad light rule! Australia ran out of time and consiquently lost the ashes! He effectively sacrificed the ashes for a chance at individual longetivity! Gilly4ever is right the majority of fans want Michael Clarke out!

  • on January 31, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Australian fans aren't very knowledgeable about aspects of cricket such as form slump. If we relied on fans to select teams, it'd be a team of 18-20 year olds because everyone is obsessed with 'blooding' new players. Michael Clarke, and 29, is in the very middle of his career, and I daresay he will go on to score 10 000 runs, and will probably retire with an average of around 50.

  • grundyalex on February 1, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    It's so much Clarke as a person that seems to be the problem. It's more Clarke as a Captain. Plus, Queenslanders respect Ricky Ponting, he's proven he deserves the respect a captain deserves. Clarke being handed it on a silver platter in the middle of a form dslump looks bad more than anything. Still, booing your own players is pretty poor form.

  • OptimusPrimal on February 1, 2011, 13:57 GMT

    All the greats have had some kind of slump in their cricketing careers. Clarkey is going through his and soon he will get out of it. The important thing is that Australian cricket has found in Clarke another great leader who can take the sport to new levels. Hussey has been tried and found lacking. Watson is too young and I believe won't be able to handle the entanglements of captaincy. Bottom line is that runs will eventually come, but possessing an awesome cricketing brain with great leadership qualities is the domain of very few.

  • Something_Witty on February 1, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    To be honest, I think the reason for Clarke's lack of popularity is simply an extension of his lack of form. - He represents what has gone wrong for Aus cricket over the past 6 months or so. i.e. Selectors sticking with out of form players over a long period of time. - The problem is, Clarke is a proven performer who deserves his spot in the side. (Certainly the test side, still not 100% convinced about his ODI spot). The issue was that the selectors were sticking with players who were obviously not quite up to test standard (North, arguably Haddin, etc.). Now that they are gone, people still want those lacking form to be dropped, but Clarke is too good a player to be dropped because of one form slump. Anyway, once he starts making runs again, the public will fall back in love with him quickly enough. - Just look at Watto, he used to be nearly everyone's biggest peeve. "Looks like tarzan plays like Jane" etc. Now he is the absolute golden boy, and deservedly so.

  • Meety on January 31, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    @Hayden Brennan - I know there is a alot of dislike for Clarke - but to say most fans want him gone is incorrect if you include fans who are not old enough to be blogging here. I am talking about kids between 6 & 18 yrs of age. WHy - because he is very generous with his time & does alot with coaching & signing autographs (they all do - but he does more than most), despite being booed he was one of the last to stop signing autographs at the GABBA the other night. Most people who I've spoken to who have said they dislike Clarke can't put forward a reason. He is probably the most highest profile cricketer of the X-Box generation & so he probably annoys some stick in the muds.

  • boooonnie on January 31, 2011, 23:27 GMT

    I never have, nor ever will boo the captain of the Australian cricket team. Neither would i ever go visit another country and boo their captain on THEIR turf. Call me old school but when play I still call the umpires "Sir" and accept bad decisions on the chin. I fear I am one of the dying breed. PS. Go Clarke there are plenty of Aust discerning cricket fans who appreciate what you're doing! Form is temporary, class is permenant!

  • straight_drive4 on January 31, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    gilly4ever only represents victorians. he does not represent australian fans as a whole. whenever he makes a suggestion, coincidently it is a victorian that should come into the side.

  • _Australian_ on January 31, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    Booing anybody, supported or not is just plain offensive. Surely you can think of something better to say than boo. @Gilly4ever. Time to deal with the facts. Clarke is here to stay and deservedly so. Hodge is done with. Your CD is skipping buddy. I am over hearing the same story. I am sure others feel the same way.

  • Something_Witty on January 31, 2011, 10:48 GMT

    @popcorn, any comments regarding Steve Smith now? ;) Clarke has actually been very impressive captaincy-wise. People saying that he is a poor captain obviously haven't been paying too much attention!

  • on January 31, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    @Thevas Yes Matthew Hayden ended his form slump with a ton in the final ashes test, but do you really remember what happened? he batted for 3 days, and constantly walked off the field by accepting the bad light rule! Australia ran out of time and consiquently lost the ashes! He effectively sacrificed the ashes for a chance at individual longetivity! Gilly4ever is right the majority of fans want Michael Clarke out!

  • on January 31, 2011, 9:55 GMT

    Australian fans aren't very knowledgeable about aspects of cricket such as form slump. If we relied on fans to select teams, it'd be a team of 18-20 year olds because everyone is obsessed with 'blooding' new players. Michael Clarke, and 29, is in the very middle of his career, and I daresay he will go on to score 10 000 runs, and will probably retire with an average of around 50.

  • beakyjonjo on January 31, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    The booing of Clarke by some sections in the crowd was a reprehensible act and should never be condoned. Clarke is a victim of his own form and to some extent past behaviours ( the india series?). But the real reason many are dissastisfied with Clarke is that he represents what has been the real problem with Australian cricket this summer. The selectors despite his poor form over a long period have chosen to protect him. Why? His form doesn't merit selection and although his captaincy has been at times innovative the reality is it hasn't been anything special. He is not a one day batsman and is fortunate real one day players like Hussey and Ponting are injured.No Clarke is just another bad policy in a series of bad policies by the selectors, ACB and the administrators. The crowd can't boo the selectors. So they have chosen to "boo" their Icon. While no administrator is willing to accept responsibility for the ashes debacle, Clarke until he finds form will continue to be the fall guy.

  • popcorn on January 31, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Michael Clarke deserves a lot of goodwill.He has proven his leadership qualities during the ODI Series against England,when he has been given a longer run, with astute decisions, field placements and bowling changes.As regards hi batting, EVERY Cricketer goes through lean periods, even the best. To all his detractors, NEVER FORGET this PROVEN idiom, "Form is temporary,Class is permanent". Michael Clarke is a Class Cricketer, acknowledged by EVERY Cricketer in the Oposition in EVERY country, and Cricket Writer and commentators alike. His 54 aty the Gabba yesterday was a beauty to watch.

  • Aussasinator on January 31, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    He has won a series as captain immediately after the Ashes disaster and people are still putting him down or doubting his ability. And it's an emphatic win mind you. Australia will now begin to gain from strength to strength under Clarke, and his batting will start flowering. He plays well under pressure or when a rebuilding is required, unlike his predecessor. Though I dont like to see an Australian revival in cricket, I can sense it now. All that is needed to spoil it now is to re-introduce Ponting into the side so that the bad blood and negative energy of his presence take over. Or else this team looks a bit like the Australian team which was difficult to tackle by the World.

  • Thevas on January 31, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    @Gilly4ever: Hayden's slump ended in the final 2005 ashes test. He scored several centuries after that time, and retired, like many other great players, because he was OLD. Michael Clarke is young, aged only 29, and definitely too young to consider retiring. People have form slumps all the time, but are retained, because they are outstanding plays. Clarke is no different, and there is no question that he will stay to play a strong part in the team. Don't be so narrow minded.

  • landl47 on January 31, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    As an England supporter, it amazes me that Clarke not only gets booed by the crowd, but also gets shredded in here by Aussie fans.... after a game in which Australia won both the game and the series and Clarke made the highest score on either side! You people have short memories. Clarke's a good player and has captained well; he's had a bit of a form slump but everyone does from time to time. Talk about fair weather supporters- he's not being supported even when the weather is bright and sunny!

  • Something_Witty on January 31, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    @mostat, don't go comparing Clarke with Bevan, because you just cannot. Bevan batted nearly all of his career during times where 240 was a BIG total in 50 overs. 300 was practically unheard of, and an average total was anything around 200. Look at the stats of bowlers during Bevan's time. Do you really think that Geoff Lawson and Terry Alderman were more accurate and economical bowlers than Glenn Mcgrath? Clarke's major failing in limited overs games is his inability to hit boundaries in the slog overs. I have no problem with nurdling in the middle overs - there is definitely a place for a couple of nurdlers in an ODI team. BUT! Clarke really must work on his slogging, otherwise he's too one-dimensional, and is a liability for the team in a huge run chase or when he really needs to hit out.

  • Wozza-CY on January 31, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    The caption under the photo sums up hypocrits who boo sports people. I agree the booing is not from Clarkes lack of form, rather his A-list life outside of cricket. I feel KP gets the same treatment for the same reason. Trott gets booed because the keeps intercepting throws! Comparing Clarkes form over his career is a little tainted because he came in when is 2-3 down for 200 after Hayden, Gilchrist, Ponting bashed them everywhere. More apt is his recent form, when he has been really needed. Hats off to the socceroos coach who in the Asia cup used performance based selection policies, often dropping Premier League players and didn't care if they were from A, J or K leagues, if they did the job they got in & stayed. Why all the dropping of players when oz is still no.1 & is winning 4-1? In the tests I can understand because oz are a long way off the pace, so change is needed. There is no doubting the skill of the current players, a little more belief & application is required though.

  • RaghuramanR on January 31, 2011, 3:33 GMT

    As long as Clarke is back to his strength, which is playing spin very well, Australia should be on firm ground. I thought he was one of the better players in the current Australian squad who played spin really well. While Ponting has improve his batting against spin, Clarke for no reason seemed to have gone down!

  • straight_drive4 on January 31, 2011, 2:04 GMT

    @ othello22 - i agree with you. white is a good selection at T20 because he is a cowboy... thats about the extent of his ability. also he isnt exactly in good form of late either... technicallty corect players like clarke will find it easier to regain form then "bashers" like white. white is a great asset to the team, just not as captain

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 31, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    The last time a player was this disliked was Matthew Hayden during his huge form slump that ultimately ended his career. Hayden did the right thing by retiring. Michael Clarke could similarly do the right thing by retiring, or at least from one day cricket and giving up the captaincy. Australian fans are very knowledgeable fans and they know when a player doesn't deserve to be in the team, as is very definitely the case with Michael Clarke.

  • dsig3 on January 31, 2011, 0:38 GMT

    Booing the captain is taking it one step too far. Clarke is paying for playing the celebrity game, ironically just like Brendon Fevola. People who shut up and treat the media with caution never get booed no matter how bad their form is. They may have nasty articles or people calling to drop them but it will never get personal. Once the public thinks it knows who you are you must be very careful. Look at White, he is out of form and some including myself have a nagging feeling that he is not world class. A failed leg spin bowler who disgraced us in India, yet noone will boo him because we dont know who he is.

  • grg525 on January 31, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    My problem with Clarke has little to do with his current form and more to do with how he bats for himself first, the team second. You need only look at the first 20/20 of the season when he put himself in to open. He looked totally out of place and not a little bit ridiculous.

    Secondly, I believe his captaincy is poor. Simple things, like Brett Lee would have only been able to bowl 9 overs in his man of the match performance the other night had England batted through. Simple maths seems beyond him. Also, he appears incapable of reassessing situations as they arise. Throughout this series he has continually sent Cameron White before David Hussey in with 30 overs still to bat, mostly because he has fallen cheaply.

    He is a good (without being great) test batsman averaging 46.94 and a more modest 44.61 at first class level. It is well time to send him back to first class cricket to reinvent himself in the same way Hayden, Ponting, Langer, Katich, Martyn et al did.

  • Nadeem1976 on January 31, 2011, 0:12 GMT

    I think booing is good for Clarke. He is baby face and if he wants to lead australia then he has to lead from front with his performance and solid captaincy. He has to win people heart by performance not by showing his cute face. He needs to become a man now.

    Only booing can improve his own game, his leadership and captaincy.

    Thanks to those australian who did the booing becuase it is helping Clarke to work more harder to win the hearts of people.

    Its really hard for a cricketer to win australian cap therefore it should always be hard to lead that team and its good sign that australian do care about cricket and who is the leader.

  • Meety on January 30, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    @ Gilly4ever - nice to see you using some stats, but what were you inferring? Surely a batsmen like who averages 31 @ 86 is not better than a 43 ave & 77 s/r? The difference is 4 balls! That is if Clarke & D Hussey play an innings according to their career stats - when Huss gets out for 31, he would of got their 4 balls quicker than Clarke!!!!! Clarke v White the difference is 3 balls! In both comparisons the more effective player it is EASILY Clarke. Clarke only loses out to Punter & M Hussey in Oz team. You can't be writing Pup off in ODIs for sheer cricketing reasons. @othello22 - well said, I think there needs to be a bit of scrutiny on this beleif that White would be a superior captain, his record is pretty good BUT he captains a near full strength Victoria each week, whilst other states are pretty depleted. The next best captain I think is Haddin as he has a very good record also - usually with a 2nd string state side. That being said I am happy White captains the T20 side.

  • chiefy14 on January 30, 2011, 23:42 GMT

    those attacking Clarke about his slow run rate yesterday clearly dont understand the role of the number 4 in one dayers. No. 3 and 4 are there to stabilise the innings and push it through to a decent total NOT come out and hit and giggle everything for 40 odd overs. when Aus were two down he came out and scored quickly, putting the pressure back on ENG. when Marsh got out White came in and belted the ball around - no need for Clarke to play stupid shots when it was flowing for White. then when White got out they were 4/113 - that is not a position to start hitting out and risk a collapse. stabilise and consolidate, which is exactly what Clarke did. He is a brilliant player just going through a bad patch, but the signs are still there. Statistics can only represent a story, they cant tell the whole thing, and too many Australians are relying on the stats too much..

  • CharonTFm on January 30, 2011, 23:15 GMT

    It never ceases to amaze me that people are still on about strike rate with three down. In that situation it's best to bat out the overs with a steady score then counter strike with wickets in hand. Classic case in this match, everyone around Clarke was slogging and got out. He built the scores up and without it we would not get a respectable total.

  • othello22 on January 30, 2011, 22:57 GMT

    Booing our own captain as he walks to the crease is disgraceful. Clarke may not be to everyone's taste but it's unfair the way he's being treated. He's been our best batsman by a considerable margin for years now and despite his recent run of low scores he is captaining the side well so far. And can we please do away with the 'Clarke should be dropped, make Cameron White captain' rubbish please? White can strike a few sixes at the death of an innings but is currently batting much higher in the order than his ability warrants. His form has been rubbish as well and, let's be honest here, he might be a good captain at domestic level, but he isn't half the player Michael Clarke is. Flame me for this all you want guys, but you know it's true.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 30, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    Clarke has the highest average and lowest strike rate of any player in the current team. That says a lot. Of late, he has had the lowest average and an even lower strike rate than usual. Scoring that slowly in most matches costs matches, not wins them. If Clarke is to be considered for ODIs in the future, he is going to have to bat a bit more quickly or else just become a test-only player. Right now, Michael Clarke does not justify his place in the team, let alone as captain. The captain should be Cameron White with Brad Hodge and Dan Christian replacing Ponting and Clarke in the team (especially for the World Cup!). Let's just say that Clarke and Ponting are injured.

  • on January 30, 2011, 21:18 GMT

    Comparing Bevan to current players is wrong.

    The scoring rate of the one day has increased massively over the last few years, largely no doubt to the introduction of the T20 format.

    And all this talk of averages over a career is great but perhaps we should start looking at last 6/12 months as well. If a player isn't performing, then they get replaced.

    Oh and where on earth is Callum Ferguson?

  • PlayingItStraight on January 30, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    Two things of major concern ... Australians booing their captain just because of a form slump, and Cameron White's continuing lack of form. Like many others, I don't believe that Clarke should have been in the ODI team, but he has been selected and he's Australian so we should support him - the Queenslanders who were booing have let themselves down. Let's hope White also gets some runs in the next couple of games.

  • DaisyRoots on January 30, 2011, 19:25 GMT

    Cameron White averages 37 and strikes at 83 in ODIs, he's a well supported, popular one day batsman. Michael Clarke averages 43 and strikes at 77.5, he's still a proper one day batsman.

  • CricLook on January 30, 2011, 17:16 GMT

    Clarke is a good batsman ...But his batting style is more useful in Test matches than in short format of the game....Sometime his slow approach becomes burden in ODIs. Neither he has the toughness , an Australian captain used to have....I think for the betterment of Australia ODI captaincy should hand over to Cameron White or Shane Watson.

  • mostat on January 30, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Clarke scores more boundaries and has a higher strike rate than Bevan... Do I need to say more?

  • Geraldine on January 30, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Clarke can thank the pathetic English batting that he got away with another slow boring test innings. But test innings are for tests, for one-dayers we need batsmen that can lift the tempo when necessary which is why Clarke should have no place in a one day side.

  • Silloh on January 30, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    There are always clowns in the crowd who will continue to boo, but most times this provides a great incentive for players to strive harderand therefore these clowns facilitate opportunities. Check the scores of Clarke and Pietersen in this match eg. Kudos for the Australian players for winning the game and giving their donations. Little or no mention is made of that donated by the English players also and kudos for them as well, fornot surprisingly putting aside Ashes differences on the field, and showing the larger picture. That is , through CRICKET, the people in Australia have benefitted by the goodwill of the players. Best wishes from the Caribbean.

  • vedanthy2 on January 30, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    Clarke has to believe in himself.He must avoid that schoolboy horizontal bat prod.Get him go back to basics a bit .Play the ball in front and close to the body.He will come good during WC .Give him the needed support.Let the bowlers maintain good line and free runs to the batsmen to show "aggro".Aussies will get to where they want themselves to be.

  • Gupta.Ankur on January 30, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    With clarke is the side,it seems it shows that aussies don't have enough bench strength to replace a sluggish and slow middle-order batsman.

    He maybe getting away in this series,but against better sides in the sub-continent he will struggle and this will only help the oppositions...

  • sports_nutt on January 30, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    I was at the game, pretty bad to see Pup get that treatment. It's just typical of some of the fools that follow most of our sports, unless your on fire they want you out of the side...Clarke has been out of form this summer, but the second he finds it everyone will love him again, this sort of thing has happened time and time again! I think the booing probably came from all the clowns that were getting drunk of midstrength beer...weak

  • mvkk on January 30, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    a nice article...indeed clarke deserves credit for the way he lead this side. He is trying very hard to get back to form, in his statement yesterday he said he and his team would try to put a smile on the faces of the flood affected people by winning the series here in Gabba, a good man who deserves some warm applause and love from his country men

  • Meety on January 30, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Classic reason why he needs to be in the side - without that knock - Oz batsmen would of ended up like the Poms. There is plenty of scope for a guy who nudges singles @ S/R of 70+ in ODIs. As for the booing I hope it was expat poms - but it probably wasn't, it's disgraceful.

  • Something_Witty on January 30, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    The boos and jeering from the crowd were a very sad thing to hear. No Aussie captain deserves to be booed to the crease. All Clarke has done is have a form slump, yet he is somehow public enemy number 1. He played a very sensible innings today, however, he really needs to develop his game in the slogging department. Mike Hussey had a similar problem early in his career, he could not get the ball off the square. But he worked out his zones - over cover, deep midwicket, long on, and practised hitting in those areas. Clarke needs to do something similar. His strategy of walking at the bowler doesn't really suit him. I think he'd have more success (when trying to slog) if he were to get right back and across and deep in his crease to hit to the on side. Something the likes of White, Paine, Christian, Hussey et al do very well and very successfully. - There's nothing wrong with Clarke's game that a few net sessions and a bit of a brainstorm won't fix. Good luck Pup.

  • Marcio on January 30, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Queenslanders. All class. :-(

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  • Marcio on January 30, 2011, 11:40 GMT

    Queenslanders. All class. :-(

  • Something_Witty on January 30, 2011, 11:44 GMT

    The boos and jeering from the crowd were a very sad thing to hear. No Aussie captain deserves to be booed to the crease. All Clarke has done is have a form slump, yet he is somehow public enemy number 1. He played a very sensible innings today, however, he really needs to develop his game in the slogging department. Mike Hussey had a similar problem early in his career, he could not get the ball off the square. But he worked out his zones - over cover, deep midwicket, long on, and practised hitting in those areas. Clarke needs to do something similar. His strategy of walking at the bowler doesn't really suit him. I think he'd have more success (when trying to slog) if he were to get right back and across and deep in his crease to hit to the on side. Something the likes of White, Paine, Christian, Hussey et al do very well and very successfully. - There's nothing wrong with Clarke's game that a few net sessions and a bit of a brainstorm won't fix. Good luck Pup.

  • Meety on January 30, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    Classic reason why he needs to be in the side - without that knock - Oz batsmen would of ended up like the Poms. There is plenty of scope for a guy who nudges singles @ S/R of 70+ in ODIs. As for the booing I hope it was expat poms - but it probably wasn't, it's disgraceful.

  • mvkk on January 30, 2011, 12:16 GMT

    a nice article...indeed clarke deserves credit for the way he lead this side. He is trying very hard to get back to form, in his statement yesterday he said he and his team would try to put a smile on the faces of the flood affected people by winning the series here in Gabba, a good man who deserves some warm applause and love from his country men

  • sports_nutt on January 30, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    I was at the game, pretty bad to see Pup get that treatment. It's just typical of some of the fools that follow most of our sports, unless your on fire they want you out of the side...Clarke has been out of form this summer, but the second he finds it everyone will love him again, this sort of thing has happened time and time again! I think the booing probably came from all the clowns that were getting drunk of midstrength beer...weak

  • Gupta.Ankur on January 30, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    With clarke is the side,it seems it shows that aussies don't have enough bench strength to replace a sluggish and slow middle-order batsman.

    He maybe getting away in this series,but against better sides in the sub-continent he will struggle and this will only help the oppositions...

  • vedanthy2 on January 30, 2011, 14:04 GMT

    Clarke has to believe in himself.He must avoid that schoolboy horizontal bat prod.Get him go back to basics a bit .Play the ball in front and close to the body.He will come good during WC .Give him the needed support.Let the bowlers maintain good line and free runs to the batsmen to show "aggro".Aussies will get to where they want themselves to be.

  • Silloh on January 30, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    There are always clowns in the crowd who will continue to boo, but most times this provides a great incentive for players to strive harderand therefore these clowns facilitate opportunities. Check the scores of Clarke and Pietersen in this match eg. Kudos for the Australian players for winning the game and giving their donations. Little or no mention is made of that donated by the English players also and kudos for them as well, fornot surprisingly putting aside Ashes differences on the field, and showing the larger picture. That is , through CRICKET, the people in Australia have benefitted by the goodwill of the players. Best wishes from the Caribbean.

  • Geraldine on January 30, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    Clarke can thank the pathetic English batting that he got away with another slow boring test innings. But test innings are for tests, for one-dayers we need batsmen that can lift the tempo when necessary which is why Clarke should have no place in a one day side.

  • mostat on January 30, 2011, 17:10 GMT

    Clarke scores more boundaries and has a higher strike rate than Bevan... Do I need to say more?