England v Australia, 5th NatWest ODI, Ageas Bowl September 16, 2013

Series win means a lot to team - Clarke


It was fitting for a one-day series that has felt distinctly unloved that Michael Clarke was presented with his trophy in front of a near empty Ageas Bowl on a chilly September evening.

For a few reasons this series, although played in front of near full-houses, has not felt as though it has captured the imagination. The weather, which ruined two matches, England's decision to rest five key players and the general fatigue that follows an intense Ashes campaign were all contributing factors.

However, Michael Clarke was not going to allow such excuses to dampen his delight at claiming a trophy, their first in any format in England since winning the one-day series in 2009 by 6-1 margin.

"For a lot of people this series doesn't mean a lot, but to this team it meant a great deal," he said. "We haven't performed as well as we would have liked as a one-day unit in the UK over the past couple of years and all the boys have worked exceptionally hard. It's a great reward for that hard work. Everyone in our changing room was extremely excited and so we should be, we deserve this win."

Clarke was doubtful for the deciding match after another flare up of his chronic back problem, which has been a talking point throughout the tour. Although not moving entirely freely - and he admitted the back was "pretty sore" after the match - he contributed 75 in the series-defining stand of 163 with Shane Watson.

"I certainly wouldn't have taken the field if I thought I was going to let the boys down," he said. "If I couldn't perform at my best I wouldn't have taken the field, but I certainly didn't want to miss this game. My back was certainly sore over the last few days and it's quite sore now, but we won so it was worth it. It was nice to contribute as well, I had the easy job standing at the other end to Watto - the way he played made my job a lot easier. It's a nice feeling to be sat here as winners of the series."

For Watson, who became a figure of fun during the height of his lbw and DRS issues in the Tests, this was a pleasing way to conclude a tour where, barring a niggle at the tail-end of the Durham Test, he has been able to stay injury free. "It's always nice when you day turns out well," he said. "Everyone knew how important it was to win the one-day series. It's a really exciting time in Australian cricket to see how we are evolving."

Clarke will now return to Australia - which may not feel like home after such a stretch overseas - but only for two weeks before, fitness permitting, he takes the one-day squad to India for a seven-match one-day series. That does not seem ideal ahead of another Ashes series, although care is being taken by the selectors not to repeat the mistakes of 2010-11 when a similar trip meant very little preparation time for the Tests, but Clarke sees this one-day team as an equally important element.

"The India series is pretty important to is, we want to get back to No. 1," he said. "We need to get more consistent away from home and this series was a good start."

Eoin Morgan, meanwhile, was left to reflect on England's self-inflicted damage in the first half of the run chase with the run outs of Kevin Pietersen and Luke Wright for ducks which undid an impressive final 20 overs with the ball.

"At one stage, they looked like getting about 350," he said. So to restrict them to under 300 on a very good wicket, we felt it was a chaseable total. It was disappointing not to get closer, or even over the line. Two run-outs don't help. We lost wickets throughout the whole innings, didn't have a substantial innings from any individual or a big partnership."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Scott on September 18, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    @landl47, yes, when we analyse the series they will be rather happy as we have numerous young players already proven in ODIs! Cummins, Starc, Hughes, Warner and another bloke who avgs 41 and doesn't even get a start in the squad all under 30 - with S Marsh who has only just turned 30, also a proven ODI performer. Who were England's performers? Other than Buttler, who had one decent innings and looked okay in another, who else of your young players did anything? Stokes took a 5 for, but got completely hammered at the same time. Jordan played once and looked okay - at best. It's not too difficult to pick up a few wickets in an ODI match, even Voges took some! Who else? Can't think of anyone with the bat who did anything for Eng throughout the series other than Buttler's one innings...With the ball Rankin was far superior to anyone in the Eng team and he's days away from 30 himself.

  • Dummy4 on September 18, 2013, 8:37 GMT

    Australia won 4 matches out of 15 and 3 of the 4 were limited overs matches. Meh.

  • John on September 18, 2013, 1:49 GMT

    I'm sure that the Aussies are happy with the trophy and so they should be. They were the better side in the ODIs.

    Will Lehman & Co be as happy when they analyze the series? Aus fielded 8 players over 30 in the first game and 7 in the others. The players who made the vital contributions to the side were all over 30- Clarke, Watson, Bailey, Johnson and McKay. The younger players did very little: Hazlewood and Coulter-Nile couldn't hold their places, Wade was disappointing both with bat and gloves, Hughes did nothing. Finch had a couple of so-so scores and a duck. Only Faulkner, who bowled steadily, really justified his place and he didn't score any runs.

    The only real batting prospect who wasn't playing was Warner and he was dropped for lack of form. Aus's other young bowlers are all injured and for Patto and Cummins this is becoming disturbingly regular.

    Does this look like a side on the rise? Or one hanging on for as long as Clarke and the over-30s can keep going?

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2013, 21:49 GMT

    Great win for a team that was one of the weakest to leave our shores. Smashed by India, embarrassed in the champions trophy and was fully expected to be flogged 5 zip. To be competitive in the ashes and barring bad weather could have come away losing 3-2. England missed a golden chance to have a whitewash series in all 3 forms. Great effort to lose only one series, tie in another and smashed them in the third. Not bad for a team who had dramas and no confidence and zero experience going to England. Well.done boys :)

  • Mick on September 17, 2013, 16:28 GMT

    Australians that performed well to O.K. for the series were: Watson, Clarke, Bailey, McKay, Faulkner, and Johnson. Finch could be retained and the rest did little or had no great opportunity. Certainly Marsh does not warrant further selection, nor warranted initial selection (too slow when makes any runs), and a few others were disappointing. Perhaps Coulter-Nile is chosen to restrict the run rate. Bring back Haddin, Henriques, and choose from Warner, Smith, Quiney and maybe even D Hussey. These are players with decent strike rates and most can bowl a bit too. Try G Sandhu. He does have impressive form.

  • gurinder on September 17, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    odi series means nothing. even if india win 7-0 in upcoming odi series , i will still treasure the 4-0 whitewash that india did to australia early in the year. the main prize is test series or wc or ct.india is current holders of wc and ct2013 and ranked number 1 in icc rankings. it will be tall order for average australian side to win any odi match in the homegrounds of world champions. waiting eagerly for odi series before test series against wi when sachin will take bow for 200 th test.

  • rob on September 17, 2013, 11:08 GMT

    To be honest I thought our best chance of Clarke getting any silverware out of this tour would be to steal the cutlery out of the Presidential Suite at the team hotel. So this is a bonus, of sorts.

    There's a lot of differences between myself & Pommie fans, but the one thing I always agree with them on is that Tests are the real deal. .. So, we got the booby prize but I guess that's better than no prize at all.

    @ FFL I'm looking forward to it mate. I rate you as super hard and barely fair, just a it should be. Cheers.

  • j on September 17, 2013, 9:27 GMT

    England easily thrashed Australia 3-0 in the Ashes Test series and were unquestionably the better team. In this ODI series though they did well fielding a young and inexperienced side up against a strong veteran one-day Australian side. Watson was the difference between the sides in this series with England close behind. Anti-Climax is the word for the finish to this series: Most England fans care only about the Ashes but like to see their ODI team play well, and with their test stars being rested England fans can't wait for the next Ashes to begin down under.

  • siddhartha on September 17, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    It's true that England fielded a depleted side. But looking closely it's great to see the way Aussie bowlers controlled regular batsmen like Root,KP,troot.Root scored 36 runs @9 while KP scored 71 runs @17.75 and Trott 28 runs @ 14.00.Much criticized Johnson has an economy rate of 4.08 in the series.Form of Watto,Clarke and Bailey were also pleasing.England also had positives in Buttler, Morgan etc.

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    congraionals to the Aushies for winning the one day series.against England.good luck to you on your one day series against India.I am sure you will do well you have Johnson who is bowling at 90 miles he is going to be your trum card best wishes again. javed sani USA.