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

Clarke lauds team effort in series win


Michael Clarke has praised his players for their sudden turnaround following the Ashes after their comprehensive win over England at the Gabba secured an unassailable 4-1 lead. Instead of being overwhelmed by the scale of the Test losses, the limited-overs players have regrouped so quickly that the final two games will be dead rubbers.

"After a pretty tough start to the summer, losing the Ashes, I think it shows a lot of courage for us to come back and play well throughout the series," Clarke said. "I think it was a great performance from the whole group, everyone contributed."

Clarke's 54, his highest score of the series, set up Australia's 249, a total which seemed small until the attack knocked over the tourists' main men by the 26th over. Clarke said the bowling of John Hastings (2 for 35) and Steven Smith (1 for 29) effectively shut down England's chase.

The pair was responsible for ruining England's middle order when the visitors lost Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan and Ian Bell for eight runs and fell to 6 for 105. "John Hastings and Steve Smith probably won us the game with that partnership," Clarke said. "They worked together, certain guys wanted to bowl to certain batters, so they communicated really well and did a great job."

Brett Lee was also impressive early, taking two wickets as England fell to 3 for 22. "Brett has been a wonderful bowler for a long time," Clarke said. "His execution throughout this series has been spot-on, but I think he feels he can get better. He probably feels he's bowling okay at the moment but has work to do before the World Cup - as we all do."

Australia are now in a relatively healthy position heading towards the tournament, which starts in three weeks. The only setback for them came with another hamstring injury to Shaun Marsh, who suffered badly with similar problems last summer.

Clarke said the injury was minor, but Marsh is due to undergo a scan on Monday to determine whether the side requires a replacement for Wednesday's sixth game in Sydney. Marsh is not in the World Cup squad but is the leading contender to replace Michael Hussey if he fails to recover from hamstring surgery.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on February 2, 2011, 7:28 GMT

    5wombats, how many overs of spin were actually bowled in Perth in the test match hmm? I don't think Aus bowled a single over, and Graeme Swann was ineffective for the ENTIRE Ashes. Get over it, you poms doctor your pitches, we don't. @Meety, yeah there are so many potentially great quickies coming up in the ranks. Not to mention a few decent spinners too. Seen Nathan Lyon this Big Bash? Boy he looks good, he'll do well in Shield cricket as well. But yeah, tons of quickies. All of these are 21 or younger - Starc, Hazlewood, Richardson, Abbot, Cummins, (looks incredibly good already, should've had 5 wickets the other night), McDermott, Faulkner and TONS more who haven't debuted yet. The people who say England have more young talent than Australia obviously didn't watch the under 19 world cup! Who won that again? I can't quite remember, was it Austria or something?? Something like that... oh wait!!! It was AUSTRALIA! Wonder why that could be?

  • Martin on February 1, 2011, 21:21 GMT

    IMO the doctoring of the pitch @Perth 2010 was more obvious than the one @Headingley in 1975. That's the only example I can think of of a doctored pitch in England.

  • Andrew on February 1, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    @Something_Witty - see the NSW v Tassie match? What about the young talented pacers out of NSW? Starc, Hazlewood, Copeland, Cameron (not so young), Cummins & Abbott. I think some are going to have to go to Sth Oz or Tassie.

  • Andrew on February 1, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    @5wombats - hmm a doctored pitch that somehow made the ball swing for Oz & not England. The 1st Test what was the 1st innings lead Oz had - by the end of Oz's 1st innings - there could only be 1 winner - Oz. Nice try though. @Something_Witty - sorry - just read it wrong re: fluked. I'm also LMFAO over the doctored pitch thing. Wombats must be really hurting over the lame ODI performance by the greatest side England have ever assembled, & they could lose 6-1 AGAIN! LOL.

  • Martin on February 1, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    OK @_Witty - explain this.... In the tour match at Perth 30 wickets fell - 10 of those to spinners. But in the Test match 40 wickets fell of which 2 fell to spinners. Doctored. Case Closed.

  • John on February 1, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    @Meety, yes I know England didn't fluke the victories in the finals, I said that they fluked getting INTO the finals. Colly played really well, as did the rest of England in those two games, BUT, my point was that it was just two games. Where they'd been crushed every time we'd met that summer. Personally I think people have written Aus off far too quickly. There is LOADS of young talent @ domestic level, yet we're hearing rubbish about how the system is supposedly broken and there's no young talent being produced! Some people just have no clue, because they don't actually get to see any of the youngsters in Aussie cricket. Basically it's just been one bad series. We played all right against India in India, (always a tough tour), and were unlucky not to win the first test. Anyway, I'm still laughing about 5wombats' "pitch doctoring" comment. Absolutely hilarious to be honest.

  • John on February 1, 2011, 11:04 GMT

    @5wombats, HA! A doctored pitch. What absolute tripe. BOTH teams bowled on that pitch you know, and if you remember, England won the toss and got the best of conditions! You can't "doctor" a pitch so that the ball swings!! (Swing bowling took 18 of the 20 pom wickets to fall that match). Whether the ball swings or not has nothing to do with pitch conditions. Sheesh, you poms are hardly the ones to talk about doctored pitches! Aus were thoroughly outplayed in Melbourne/Adelaide/Sydney, England were just as outplayed in Perth, simple as that. Perth was not a fluke, Perth was what happened when just TWO of our bowlers were on form and bowling as a pair. - I know it's a big if, but if they had been able to do that for the majority of the series, we would have won. Do NOT accuse us of pitch doctoring please. Aussie curators have NEVER doctored their pitches. Certainly don't accuse other people of doctoring after the pitches prepared @ The Oval in 05/09.

  • Martin on February 1, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    @Meety; Which bit of "Finished" are we discussing? 1st Test England 1/517 declared. 2nd Test England win by an Innings? I think you meant "started". By my reckoning a doctored pitch had something to do with the fluke that was Perth.

  • Andrew on February 1, 2011, 2:21 GMT

    @Something_Witty - agreed that England were beaten soundly in ODIs that summer - but I think "fluked" the finals is a poor choice of words. It was Collingwood (primarily) at his very best against an Oz side that expected they could just lob & win any game they played. The wheels continued to fall off in ODIs in NZ where we failed to defend scores way over 300. Oz was rotating players alot then & inadvertantly sacrificed the CUB Cup. The Poms should have a look at what Oz had done that summer - because it was a VERY long one for Oz with the "infamous" boot camp & extra training drills as well. This "adversity" (hard to say that about players on squillions of dollars a year to play a sport we ALL are passionate about) strengthen Oz to continue their W/C dominance. I am backing that OZ will exceed our whinging Pommie comrades (landl47 & wombats) expectations quite convincingly! If not I won't be logging on for a year afterwards!!!

  • Andrew on February 1, 2011, 2:10 GMT

    @ 5wombats - crushed is being beaten 5-0. Fact is the Ashes was still alive with 2 tests to go at 1all. England FINISHED the series the better side. I agree that the what ifs etc in the end mean nothing, Oz did under perform but that always is then a trade off between were they MADE to or did they just play poorly. I think it is 50/50 on that count. @landl47 - re: SA, their batting line up v India was not deep (full credit to India they played really well), but with Kallis out - they basically playing 4 tail enders in their line up & none of them stood up during that series with the bat. Agreed they'll be more balanced with a 100% fit Kallis, without him, they are a 2 man side - Amla & Steyn. Regardless of "motivation" you cannot be serious if you think that England are going to magically turn it all around & perform better than Oz at this point in the current series. Already we are hearing injuries this & long tour that. What's the ave temperature in England this last month or so????

  • No featured comments at the moment.