England v Australia, 2nd NatWest ODI, Old Trafford September 8, 2013

Clarke relieved to secure first win on tour

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Given the end-of-term atmosphere that permeates any limited overs series to follow an Ashes contest, it would be quite the embellishment to say Michael Clarke basked in Australia's 88-run victory over England at Old Trafford. But there was certainly some relief evident in Clarke, for this was the first significant international win he had been part of since early February, and the first he has taken part in against England on a tour that began four months and three Prime Ministers ago.

As results go, the Manchester margin was handsome, hurried along by a grand partnership between Clarke and his deputy George Bailey that pushed the tourists to 315 for 7, then secured by an even bowling display in which Mitchell Johnson was particularly menacing and everyone contributed at least one wicket. In a year largely barren of Australian success away from home, the win in Manchester will help establish the winning habit Clarke spoke of in the aftermath.

"Winning's always pleasing and that's one thing I've emphasised to the Test boys but also the one-day guys," Clarke said. "Sometimes it might not look pretty or feel great, but if you get over the line and get that winning feeling it's a nice side of the fence to be on.

"In the Test matches we showed in patches some really good cricket. Our performance today was a good start, but we won't take anything for granted and I won't look too far ahead, but I think at the end of the day it's nice to have won a game against England on this tour.

"It was nice to contribute, I'd like to play every Test and one-dayer at Manchester, I seem to score runs here. It's about trying to help the team win and fortunately today I played my part. But everybody contributed today. There's still three important games to go but it's a nice feeling to be sitting here having won the first one of this series."

Surmising what his men had to do for the rest of the series, Clarke said the posting of a high total that increased the element of risk for England's batsmen was significant, as was the plucking of regular wickets to ensure that no partnerships could be established. "England have got a lot of destructive players," he said. "So I think for us taking wickets was crucial throughout our bowling innings, and batting as well as we could to set a target to make England take risks is something we're going to have to continue to do throughout this series.

"I wasn't surprised by their team or that they bowled first, I think they've been doing that a lot in the shorter form of the game for a while now. We've got to make sure we keep working to get better because England will get better than today."

Eoin Morgan, England's stand-in captain, certainly hopes so, and conceded his bowlers had allowed Australia around 40 runs too many on a dry, slowish Old Trafford strip. "It was probably more of a 275 type of pitch," Morgan said. "It was hard when you got in but when you developed a partnership you found yourself without any effort going at five or six an over. Today we lost wickets through the whole innings. They played particularly well and put our bowlers under a lot of pressure."

James Tredwell was notably targeted by Australia's batsmen, his usually efficient and tidy 10-over spell ended two overs short of that quota by Morgan, having already conceded 60. "It did make it difficult yeah," Morgan said. "He's a fantastic bowler and been a great performer, in the Champions Trophy he was one of the best bowlers in the tournament. Because they kept coming there was a feeling that he would create an opportunity to take a wicket, so it worked both ways. We ended up getting Finch because they played so hard, and I don't have to tell you how good Michael Clarke is at playing spin."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 8, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    I feel Clarke should be confident about this Aussie ODI team. They are still a good team in one day cricket and should be considered one of the favourites for the next World Cup in 2015. The World Cup is the only event that matters in cricket and Clarke should groom this young team in the right direction. There is nothing like smashing the Old Enemy in the Natwest Series and getting a head start in the positive direction. Still, the middle order looks a little brittle and I strongly feel Shane Watson should open the innings in ODI cricket. Mitchell Johnson's bowling is refreshing to see given he's had a poor time lately. All in all, a good performance by Australia first up.

  • Shan156 on September 10, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    @Chris_P, Some of these kids are too young and so they are not aware of the Ashes legacy. Some seem to imply that the Ashes, except 2005, has often been a contest between a good side and a very poor side. It was indeed the case from 1989-2003 when it appeared that all Aus. had to do to win the Ashes was to simply turn up. The 2005 Ashes was obviously very evenly contested but 2009 was quiet evenly contested too and in fact Aus. were dominant for the most part but Eng. won the key contests and the series. This summer was very evenly contested despite the 3-0 result. And, of course, the 1981 series which will remain one of my favorites ever.

  • Shan156 on September 10, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    @Chris_P, yes, I should have said I would trade significantly more # of ODI wins for 1 Ashes test win. I really don't understand why this should irritate some SC fans. They are free to rate the WC as the most prestigious tournament. What they like need not apply to us. @Srini_Chennai's post seems to imply that very few people celebrate the Ashes and the majority prefer the WC, hence it should be the most important tournament for everyone. Nah, it doesn't work that way. It may well be the case that more people follow the WC but what could be his/her concern if some people continue to rate Ashes wins over WC? For him/her, WC is the most prestigious tournament. For us, it is the Ashes. Simply really. And, yes, we are well aware that the Ashes is played only between 2 countries. It would still be the choice for some of us.

  • Chris_P on September 10, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    @Shan156. Only 10 Ashes tests? I think some significant more is closer to the mark. I guess the significance of Ashes contests can only be put in context by the fans of both countries. Even when we were trampling over every side & England was at a place they weren't enjoying, packed grounds in both countries showed the appreciation of the contests. Packed grounds for Test matches, something that doesn't get experienced by other countries any more, so that is probably the intrigue of the posts.

  • Shan156 on September 9, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    @milepost, no excuses. Aus. beat us fair and square. It doesn't matter if we were missing Jimmy, Swann, Cook, Bell or XYZ. It was a thumping win for Aus. and must be a good morale booster for them, especially Clarke. What some Eng. fans post here is how little important this series is for them when compared to the Ashes. Any defeat hurts but I would trade 10 ODI defeats, probably more, for one test win, especially if it is the Ashes.

    Again, that cannot take anything away from Aus. They were superior to England in all respects and were deserving winners.

  • H_Z_O on September 9, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    @milepost on (September 9, 2013, 7:01 GMT) It was definitely a weakened team, but as several others have said, Australia can only beat what's put in front of them. Australia are by no means a poor one day side (nor are they as bad a Test side as the Ashes scoreline suggested either, but that's neither here nor there) and for us to put out such a weak side was complete and utter disrespect. We deserve what we got, and maybe next time the selectors will learn that even when you're trying to rest players (and I have no issue with a bit of resting, especially with bowlers) you need to balance that with putting out a side capable of winning. We didn't.

    I actually reckon both Bailey and Mitch should be in the Test side come the Gabba. Australia ideally want a 6-1-4 split, and I'd give Bailey a go at 6 (he's got the right mentality, very gritty) while Harris, Siddle and Lyon are so consistent that you can afford a "strike" bowler like Mitch who, when he's hot, can dismantle a team.

  • Chris_P on September 9, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    @popcorn. "George Bailey is a consistent performer & should be in the test side." Really? I wonder if his 256 runs @ 18.26 in our last first class season should be ignored then? Efforts like that in first class mnatces will have the English bowlers shivering in fear at nights. If & when Bailey or any other batsman performs on the first class arena, then & only then should they earn their cap, not by performing in meaningless one day matches.

  • Harding119 on September 9, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson seems to have a knack of delivering when it is needed. His bowling performance that set the stage for the OZ to take control was absolutely terrific.

    The OZ are by no means a dodgy one day side. To have underestimated them on their performance at Tests was telling. Very bad judgement indeed.

  • on September 9, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    @Steve Back - Quite right sir, I thank you for your correction. Maybe I meant metaphorically? :)

  • Srini_Indian on September 9, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @salazar555: 'Many in England' is not even 5% of cricket watching population. If "Many in England" doesn't value ODI cricket, it doesn't change the fact that World cup is the most prestigious tournament in cricket ever. Nobody cares about how England treats ODI cricket, it is loved in sub-continent, SA , WI, NZ. That's all it matters. I don't know how you say that ODI cricket will die considering the full houses in every country including England except maybe in Australia.

  • Cpt.Meanster on September 8, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    I feel Clarke should be confident about this Aussie ODI team. They are still a good team in one day cricket and should be considered one of the favourites for the next World Cup in 2015. The World Cup is the only event that matters in cricket and Clarke should groom this young team in the right direction. There is nothing like smashing the Old Enemy in the Natwest Series and getting a head start in the positive direction. Still, the middle order looks a little brittle and I strongly feel Shane Watson should open the innings in ODI cricket. Mitchell Johnson's bowling is refreshing to see given he's had a poor time lately. All in all, a good performance by Australia first up.

  • Shan156 on September 10, 2013, 4:39 GMT

    @Chris_P, Some of these kids are too young and so they are not aware of the Ashes legacy. Some seem to imply that the Ashes, except 2005, has often been a contest between a good side and a very poor side. It was indeed the case from 1989-2003 when it appeared that all Aus. had to do to win the Ashes was to simply turn up. The 2005 Ashes was obviously very evenly contested but 2009 was quiet evenly contested too and in fact Aus. were dominant for the most part but Eng. won the key contests and the series. This summer was very evenly contested despite the 3-0 result. And, of course, the 1981 series which will remain one of my favorites ever.

  • Shan156 on September 10, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    @Chris_P, yes, I should have said I would trade significantly more # of ODI wins for 1 Ashes test win. I really don't understand why this should irritate some SC fans. They are free to rate the WC as the most prestigious tournament. What they like need not apply to us. @Srini_Chennai's post seems to imply that very few people celebrate the Ashes and the majority prefer the WC, hence it should be the most important tournament for everyone. Nah, it doesn't work that way. It may well be the case that more people follow the WC but what could be his/her concern if some people continue to rate Ashes wins over WC? For him/her, WC is the most prestigious tournament. For us, it is the Ashes. Simply really. And, yes, we are well aware that the Ashes is played only between 2 countries. It would still be the choice for some of us.

  • Chris_P on September 10, 2013, 0:37 GMT

    @Shan156. Only 10 Ashes tests? I think some significant more is closer to the mark. I guess the significance of Ashes contests can only be put in context by the fans of both countries. Even when we were trampling over every side & England was at a place they weren't enjoying, packed grounds in both countries showed the appreciation of the contests. Packed grounds for Test matches, something that doesn't get experienced by other countries any more, so that is probably the intrigue of the posts.

  • Shan156 on September 9, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    @milepost, no excuses. Aus. beat us fair and square. It doesn't matter if we were missing Jimmy, Swann, Cook, Bell or XYZ. It was a thumping win for Aus. and must be a good morale booster for them, especially Clarke. What some Eng. fans post here is how little important this series is for them when compared to the Ashes. Any defeat hurts but I would trade 10 ODI defeats, probably more, for one test win, especially if it is the Ashes.

    Again, that cannot take anything away from Aus. They were superior to England in all respects and were deserving winners.

  • H_Z_O on September 9, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    @milepost on (September 9, 2013, 7:01 GMT) It was definitely a weakened team, but as several others have said, Australia can only beat what's put in front of them. Australia are by no means a poor one day side (nor are they as bad a Test side as the Ashes scoreline suggested either, but that's neither here nor there) and for us to put out such a weak side was complete and utter disrespect. We deserve what we got, and maybe next time the selectors will learn that even when you're trying to rest players (and I have no issue with a bit of resting, especially with bowlers) you need to balance that with putting out a side capable of winning. We didn't.

    I actually reckon both Bailey and Mitch should be in the Test side come the Gabba. Australia ideally want a 6-1-4 split, and I'd give Bailey a go at 6 (he's got the right mentality, very gritty) while Harris, Siddle and Lyon are so consistent that you can afford a "strike" bowler like Mitch who, when he's hot, can dismantle a team.

  • Chris_P on September 9, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    @popcorn. "George Bailey is a consistent performer & should be in the test side." Really? I wonder if his 256 runs @ 18.26 in our last first class season should be ignored then? Efforts like that in first class mnatces will have the English bowlers shivering in fear at nights. If & when Bailey or any other batsman performs on the first class arena, then & only then should they earn their cap, not by performing in meaningless one day matches.

  • Harding119 on September 9, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Mitchell Johnson seems to have a knack of delivering when it is needed. His bowling performance that set the stage for the OZ to take control was absolutely terrific.

    The OZ are by no means a dodgy one day side. To have underestimated them on their performance at Tests was telling. Very bad judgement indeed.

  • on September 9, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    @Steve Back - Quite right sir, I thank you for your correction. Maybe I meant metaphorically? :)

  • Srini_Indian on September 9, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    @salazar555: 'Many in England' is not even 5% of cricket watching population. If "Many in England" doesn't value ODI cricket, it doesn't change the fact that World cup is the most prestigious tournament in cricket ever. Nobody cares about how England treats ODI cricket, it is loved in sub-continent, SA , WI, NZ. That's all it matters. I don't know how you say that ODI cricket will die considering the full houses in every country including England except maybe in Australia.

  • on September 9, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    @ Dangertroy: England isn't an island, fellow. Great Britain is.

  • Int.Curator on September 9, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Selections

    Australia can only play what team the English selectors put in front of them. Selection is irrelevant the result reads Australia 1-0 England.

    In hindsight do you think the Australian selection for the recent Ashes would stay the same or the English team even won more than a game?

    With the looming Australian leg of Ashes tour being significantly more demanding than the english leg, I have concerns for the English team's physical and mental strength.

    They can look forward to:

    + 30 degree celsius days Hard fast bouncing wickets Full size ovals and boundaries Fan base well versed in all sports especially cricket.

  • Iddo555 on September 9, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    'The World Cup is the only event that matters in cricket'

    This statement has no business being in a featured comment. ODI cricket to many in England is nothing, meaningless, a waste of time. For many in England it is seen as the worst out of the three formats and the one that people least like watching.

    I see ODI cricket going the way of the Dodo as we have Test cricket for the traditional game, the 'real' cricket and we have 20/20 for the short 'fun' game that can be watched over a short 3 hr period. I don't really see where ODI 50 over cricket fits in, it's a money maker in some markets but is like the ugly sister in others. England are using this series to look at a few players and they don't seem to care whether they beat Australia or not in it. That says how little the ECB and the rest of the England management care about 50 over cricket

  • popcorn on September 9, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    George Bailey is a CONSISTENT performer and should be in the Test side at Number 6.His proven Leadership of Tassie will be an addiitional ear for Michael Clarke. Forget about Phil Hughes or David Warner.Cowan,Rogers,Watson,Clarke / Smith, Smith / Clarke,Bailey,Haddin as the Top Seven.Then 3 pacers and a spinner.

  • Dangertroy on September 9, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Nice to see Australia have a victory, nice to see bailey perform yet again. His consistency is great in this side, I really hope he has a strong start to the shield and is considered for the middle order. He has affair bit of international experience now in short forms that could help him step up to test level.

    @minus zero @saba - a win is a win is a win. If this is the team that England chose to field, then Australia beat England. One could say its a deliberate strategy by England to excuse poor performance. @gavin - England is a pretty diverse society. It's a small island with a large population including a lot of immigrants. Plenty of other sports do this. Have a look at the afl, most teams have a few immigrants on the roster, including Fijian, Sudanese, Irish and Canadian players. As you point out, Australia has had two immigrants represent us in the last few months. It's an international game, get used to it.

  • milepost on September 9, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Oh come on some of England fans, you beat your chests when you win and make excuses when you lose. Give a little credit, Australia were good and it wasn't England's day, that's all.

  • on September 9, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    England are without Anderson, Broad and Swann. These three are England's main strike bowlers. Then take Cook and Ian Bell out of the equation too. What are they left with? A horribly inexperienced 2nd string team. One has got to be remember that all five of them have been integral to England's recent success. I guess only Cook deserved this break after going through a lean period with the bat.No wonder Aus are having a blast in the field against the English side!

  • smudgeon on September 9, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    alex100024, Steve Smith is injured, so flew home after the test series. Rest assured, he is at the forefront of CA's future plans. Only just noticed that Australia went in with just the two specialist quicks (McKay & Johnson), plus Faulkner as a bowling all-rounder, Watson of course, and Ahmed. Interesting tactic, and I guess when you have a good total to bowl to, it's not so risky - provided you have that total, of course! Still, good to see Faulkner getting a bit of a run here, hopefully it's a sign he'll be around for a while yet. A very very good cricketer. Anyone else notice that most of the Tassie-born cricketers that get higher honours are from north of Oatlands? Must be the Boags.

  • dinosaurus on September 9, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    @alex100024: Steve Smith is an important cog in the machine, but he had to go home early with back problems.

  • unbroken on September 9, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Alex Hales and Luke Wright should be in this team. Finn is not what he was since the no-ball debacle and is too expensive plus he can't hold catches. And winning the toss and sending the opposition into bat was painful.

  • on September 9, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    hit them hard this time aussies,,,yu can do it this time

  • Happy_hamster on September 9, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster on (September 8, 2013, 20:01 GMT)"Winning the world cup is the only thing that matters in cricket", no it isn't maybe it is all that matter to you, the two things are not the same. Most England fans care little for ODI's it is a gap filler and the least likely form of cricket to survive in the long term, tests are what matter most always has been always will be.

  • PFEL on September 8, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    Smith in for Marsh, and maybe find a place for Maxwell and you'll have Australia's best ODI batting line-up.

  • MinusZero on September 8, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    Won against a mostly second string England side...lets celebrate! *rolls eyes*

  • MinusZero on September 8, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    Won a game that not many care about. Tests have far higher esteem

  • alex100024 on September 8, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    where is steve smith he is the 1 who should play and must b groomed for wc2015 espacially for 1day team

  • alex100024 on September 8, 2013, 20:24 GMT

    where is steve smith he is the 1 who should play and must b groomed for wc2015 espacially for 1day team

  • MinusZero on September 8, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    Won a game that not many care about. Tests have far higher esteem

  • MinusZero on September 8, 2013, 23:13 GMT

    Won against a mostly second string England side...lets celebrate! *rolls eyes*

  • PFEL on September 8, 2013, 23:21 GMT

    Smith in for Marsh, and maybe find a place for Maxwell and you'll have Australia's best ODI batting line-up.

  • Happy_hamster on September 9, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    Cpt.Meanster on (September 8, 2013, 20:01 GMT)"Winning the world cup is the only thing that matters in cricket", no it isn't maybe it is all that matter to you, the two things are not the same. Most England fans care little for ODI's it is a gap filler and the least likely form of cricket to survive in the long term, tests are what matter most always has been always will be.

  • on September 9, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    hit them hard this time aussies,,,yu can do it this time

  • unbroken on September 9, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Alex Hales and Luke Wright should be in this team. Finn is not what he was since the no-ball debacle and is too expensive plus he can't hold catches. And winning the toss and sending the opposition into bat was painful.

  • dinosaurus on September 9, 2013, 3:09 GMT

    @alex100024: Steve Smith is an important cog in the machine, but he had to go home early with back problems.

  • smudgeon on September 9, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    alex100024, Steve Smith is injured, so flew home after the test series. Rest assured, he is at the forefront of CA's future plans. Only just noticed that Australia went in with just the two specialist quicks (McKay & Johnson), plus Faulkner as a bowling all-rounder, Watson of course, and Ahmed. Interesting tactic, and I guess when you have a good total to bowl to, it's not so risky - provided you have that total, of course! Still, good to see Faulkner getting a bit of a run here, hopefully it's a sign he'll be around for a while yet. A very very good cricketer. Anyone else notice that most of the Tassie-born cricketers that get higher honours are from north of Oatlands? Must be the Boags.

  • on September 9, 2013, 5:58 GMT

    England are without Anderson, Broad and Swann. These three are England's main strike bowlers. Then take Cook and Ian Bell out of the equation too. What are they left with? A horribly inexperienced 2nd string team. One has got to be remember that all five of them have been integral to England's recent success. I guess only Cook deserved this break after going through a lean period with the bat.No wonder Aus are having a blast in the field against the English side!