Zimbabwe v Australia, tri-series, Harare August 31, 2014

Clarke unhappy with Smith omission

ESPNcricinfo staff
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'A terrible performance' - Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke has expressed displeasure with the XI he was given by the selectors, after his side's three-wicket defeat against Zimbabwe in Harare. While criticising the team's performance against spin on a slow wicket, Clarke also said Australia had missed Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson, both of whom were not picked for this game.

"I think our middle-order batting certainly missed Steve Smith, he's a very good player of spin and it was disappointing he wasn't out there to combat those conditions, but that was the way the selectors went," Clarke said after Australia had lost an ODI to Zimbabwe after 31 years. "I want to take nothing away from Zimbabwe. I think they outplayed us and they certainly deserved to win today.

"I think we've seen through Smithy's career he's a pretty good player of spin bowling and he can bowl some handy legspinners, so I think he would have been handy out there, but it means you've got to leave someone out as well so that's always difficult."

When asked about Johnson being rested for this game, Clarke said: "Like I say, the selectors pick the XI and I do my best to try and get the best out of them, so it's always tough to work out what you think the best XI is for certain conditions. It didn't matter what XI we had on the field. If we play like that we're not going to beat any team. So whatever team is selected we have to perform better than we did today. Obviously the selectors will be talking now about what they think the best team is and the players will be having a think about their own performances as well."

Australia's batsmen struggled on a slow pitch that offered plenty of turn. Clarke battled through hamstring trouble to score 68, but none of the other batsmen were fluent against Zimbabwe's spinners. Australia were restricted to 209, their lowest total batting first against Zimbabwe, who won with two overs to spare. Clarke called it a "terrible performance".

"I think we played some average cricket at best throughout the whole game. I think our general fielding was poor," Clarke said. "Our execution with the ball was okay but had to be better when we only had 200-odd on the board. And our batting, we continually talk about facing spin bowling as an Australian team. It seems to be an area we continue to struggle in and today's another example of that

"I thought it might spin early on because it was a bit tacky but I thought once the sun got on the wicket it wouldn't spin as much. But it spun the whole game. I think that's a positive for our spin bowlers and obviously going to be tough for our batters throughout the rest of the series."

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  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 2, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    Perhaps Clark should express displeasure of himself for not been able navigate the team he is given for the victory against Zimbabwe. As Darren says, if they can't win with the team given, it's a problem within. I hate Clarks childish complains over omissions, rather than give due credits to Zimbabwe. Big teams looses to small teams occasionally and there is no big deal about it.

  • Mindmeld on September 2, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    Andre117, how about actually saying something meaningful? So SA showed they can beat ZB comfortably? When was that? It certainly wasn't the previous game, where SA struggled for large portions of the game before winning by a mere 60 runs. And yeah, Aus showed they could absolutely obliterate ZB second last time round - by 200-odd. So what's your point?

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on September 2, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    @sidgarg How was Clarke incompetent? Plenty in the Australian team were but Clarke wasn't. Scored most of the runs, when he came onto the field to captain the game changed, and his bowling at the death was what the other part timers should've done. Did you even watch the game?

  • sidgarg on September 2, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    The captain should always be the one picking the XI, the selectors can pick the 15 which should also include the captain's vote. You can't have a disgruntled captain leading the players he believes are not good enough to play in the team. Although in this case Clarke is deflecting blame on the selectors for his and his team's incompetence.

  • Andre117 on September 2, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    I just love how the Aussie fans go on about "it was not our best side". You are the #3 side (#1 not too long ago) and Zim is the #10 side. We (SA) showed that we can beat them comfortably even if we rest our top players, so what's your excuse now? You can't complain about the pitch either as Zim (#10 ODI team) took 9 wickets compared to your 7.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 2, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    @Modernumpiresplz: It does with Pakistan as our next test tour!

  • here2rock on September 1, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    Michael Clarke gave up the selection vote after losing the Ashes, he should let the selectors do their job.

  • jplterrors on September 1, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    Nz woulda easily beaten Zim in this game!

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    @Donovan Bolton - finally a Saffa fan with some wise words - hope your right about the next match.

  • on September 1, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Michael Clarke used to have a say in selection till last year. He chose to give it up himself because he wanted to be one of the boys and Rod Marsh actually said that was one of the contributory factors for the team's success. It's a bit rich for him to start blaming the selectors for not giving him the team he wants when he himself opted not to exercise that responsibility

  • Ala-Wageda-Goa on September 2, 2014, 9:45 GMT

    Perhaps Clark should express displeasure of himself for not been able navigate the team he is given for the victory against Zimbabwe. As Darren says, if they can't win with the team given, it's a problem within. I hate Clarks childish complains over omissions, rather than give due credits to Zimbabwe. Big teams looses to small teams occasionally and there is no big deal about it.

  • Mindmeld on September 2, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    Andre117, how about actually saying something meaningful? So SA showed they can beat ZB comfortably? When was that? It certainly wasn't the previous game, where SA struggled for large portions of the game before winning by a mere 60 runs. And yeah, Aus showed they could absolutely obliterate ZB second last time round - by 200-odd. So what's your point?

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on September 2, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    @sidgarg How was Clarke incompetent? Plenty in the Australian team were but Clarke wasn't. Scored most of the runs, when he came onto the field to captain the game changed, and his bowling at the death was what the other part timers should've done. Did you even watch the game?

  • sidgarg on September 2, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    The captain should always be the one picking the XI, the selectors can pick the 15 which should also include the captain's vote. You can't have a disgruntled captain leading the players he believes are not good enough to play in the team. Although in this case Clarke is deflecting blame on the selectors for his and his team's incompetence.

  • Andre117 on September 2, 2014, 5:18 GMT

    I just love how the Aussie fans go on about "it was not our best side". You are the #3 side (#1 not too long ago) and Zim is the #10 side. We (SA) showed that we can beat them comfortably even if we rest our top players, so what's your excuse now? You can't complain about the pitch either as Zim (#10 ODI team) took 9 wickets compared to your 7.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 2, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    @Modernumpiresplz: It does with Pakistan as our next test tour!

  • here2rock on September 1, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    Michael Clarke gave up the selection vote after losing the Ashes, he should let the selectors do their job.

  • jplterrors on September 1, 2014, 21:45 GMT

    Nz woulda easily beaten Zim in this game!

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    @Donovan Bolton - finally a Saffa fan with some wise words - hope your right about the next match.

  • on September 1, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Michael Clarke used to have a say in selection till last year. He chose to give it up himself because he wanted to be one of the boys and Rod Marsh actually said that was one of the contributory factors for the team's success. It's a bit rich for him to start blaming the selectors for not giving him the team he wants when he himself opted not to exercise that responsibility

  • ModernUmpiresPlz on September 1, 2014, 15:04 GMT

    Congratulations to Zimbabwe, well played. I enjoy a good underdog victory, even if it is against my team (unless its in the world cup).

    That said, let's be real for a moment here. This pitch is indicative of absolutely nothing. Sure, Australia's spin stocks don't run deep in the squad. Only Clarke and Smith are really any good at playing spin and using their feet to get back and forward. It's the type of pitch where, with Zim's spin lineup, you'd say that they might only be slight underdogs (what was it, a test pitch late on day 4?).

    But will Zimbabwe find this pitch prepared for them in the world cup? Not a chance. Does it really matter? Well, I don't care that we lost, personally.

    So, congratulations Zimbabwe. But if you want to genuinely improve and increase your chances of getting somewhere in the world cup, you might want to play matches on surfaces that are at least remotely relevant.

  • Ash76 on September 1, 2014, 14:28 GMT

    I do not think this one-off shock defeat will change anything as far as the world cup is concerned. AUS would still be the team to beat (at home) in the World Cup.

  • on September 1, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    I think people are getting excited for nothing. Every team has lost to lower ranked teams before. No teams beat everyone. If you've ever played or watched cricket, you should know that any 3 or even 5 consecutive results don't mean anything in the context of anything.

  • njr1330 on September 1, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Australia beat England, Zimbabwe beat Australia, Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe; doesn't that make Afghanistan about 4 times as good as England at 1-day cricket!!

  • on September 1, 2014, 14:02 GMT

    It is not wise or appropriate for any of us Saffas to rub this loss in the Aussies faces. We scraped home against Zim and we lost to them in a WC match. I think all this loss will have done is to have taught the Aussies not to get complacent.and never to underestimate Zim again (like we did in 1999) I am expecting the next match the Proteas have against Aus to be very hard.

  • on September 1, 2014, 13:38 GMT

    This time Sa will win WC comfortably.Its true that SA did not win world cup till now.But history may not repeat indefinitely.Subcontinent team dont have a chance to win this worldcup because they are not tall enough to counterattack the bounce in these pitches.India is wasting talents of players like yusuf pathan by not taking them in WC because they can play mindgames against any opposition team by counterattacking them.

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    @Rough_Fan: Can you? where? Not on these pages. Are the SA fans all on a 'wind up'?

    It will be a very tough WC with many teams capable of winning (and losing) it. SA, India and Aust are probably the teams to beat, but Pakistan and a greatly improved NZ could also do it. But you won't find any serious fans declaring victory just yet....

  • yogicoolboy on September 1, 2014, 13:17 GMT

    I think australia were over confident and under estimated the zimbabwe team

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    Just looking at the history of the WC and am shocked to see that SA have never even made the final. In 2003, SA didn't make it past the first round. That's quite shocking for a team as strong as SA.

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    @Andre117 - your facts are wrong. But that aside, are you trying to make a point? Is it 'we're better than you'? Recent test series would suggest otherwise. So woud the historical rankings for Tests and ODI's. So would the number of WC's won. Who would bet against the Aussies winnign the WC and having the no.1 ranking in ODI and test cricket within the next 12 months? It may or may not happen, but the no one would wisely bet against it.

  • on September 1, 2014, 12:10 GMT

    Pakistan awaits in hopefully spinning conditions of UAE.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    @Andre117: It was hardly a comfortable win for SA either. You had one of your worst collapses ever in ODI cricket history. If ZIM had kept their composure, as they did yesterday, i reckon you would have come out on the wrong end of things.

  • on September 1, 2014, 12:04 GMT

    Zimbabwe's victory is really great while considering the resources. It is interesting to see that Michael Clarke is making displeasure that Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson are rested. No justification for Australia for the defeat. The grit shown by Chigumbura and Utseya are laudable. The handled the pressure so easily to reach the target. This is the problem for major teams while playing against Zimbabwe or Bangladesh in these types of pitches.

  • Rough_Fan on September 1, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    I can see a lot of Aussie fans claiming that they Will win WC 2015 without any contest.This will not be the case. They will face heavy competition from teams like SA, Srilanka, India, NZ etc. Plus they do not have any Good spinner. They lack skills while playing against top quality spinners. It will be difficult for them for sure..

  • on September 1, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    @enlightenedone. Andre was just stating facts as well.

  • on September 1, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    @mervo even though Clarke top scored , he was not at his best and should have scored more once you get IN. Pitch was difficult to Bat I agree but Australia were 30 runs short

  • enlightenedone on September 1, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    @andre117. no one is making excuses. just stating facts. iam genuinely happy that Zimbabwe won they have a lot more to gain out of this win than Australia would've if they just smashed them. yes the Aussies have major problems against spin but just because they lost one game doesn't mean they're a bad odi team. maybe you should think before you start making illogical ad hominem arguments next time. but the fact is australia has been and are considered by many experts as the best ODI cricket nation ever. how many worldcups has south africa won again?

  • Andre117 on September 1, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    I just love how the Aussie fans go on about "it was not our best side". You are the #3 side (#1 not too long ago) and Zim is the #10 side. We (SA) showed that we can beat them comfortably even if we rest our top players, so what's your excuse now? You can't complain about the pitch either as Zim (#10 ODI team) took 9 wickets compared to your 7.

  • on September 1, 2014, 10:04 GMT

    What about Steven O'keefe?

  • and1son on September 1, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Things to note: 1) why does the Aus team travel with a 14 man squad when most travel with a 15 man crew. Even Zim with no resources always travel with 15. That means the 11, an extra bowler-allrounder-bat-and any need from conditions/outbreak player.

    2) I know Hughes struggled against spin but so did all of the team. I think there are other issues why people just don't like him. Or maybe he's that unlucky fall guy that any team has

    3) @AlexNag this series cannot be regular because Aus yearly commitment to the ashes. I think the schedule will make it difficult. Then also making it a southern tri-series is not possible because NZ are also in the southern hemisphere so they will need to be included as a quadrangular. But it could be a nice tournament like the Asia cup

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    @ LALITHKURUWITA - Clark probably did complain / make his thoughts known to selectors before the match. Why do you think he didn't?

    Seems as though there are several embittered supporters venting here.

  • TheBigBoodha on September 1, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    After the last win by 200-odd, I said these kinds of wins can do more harm than good - leading to overconfidence, sloppiness. I was right.

    Cmac389, these are no conditions to judge medium pacers. The wickets have been killed stone dead, and there is little movement in the air or off the track. Sure, you can see how bowlers vary their pace, length and so on, but they are largely impotent here. So you can't judge Faulkner. He has a pretty good record overall, and deserves persisting with. After all, he does put it down at around 140clicks, so he's no Jonathan Trott :-).

    The problem is that he's not a front line bowler. Neither is Marsh. So yesterday we had these guys plus Maxwell and Finch (think David Boon on sedatives) trying to bowl out the opposition on rolled dirt. In fact, in these conditions, only Starc & Lyon would be realistic threats. But on the bright side they did pick at least one spinner this time, as opposed to the SA game, when they didn't pick a single one! Just dumb!

  • ak928 on September 1, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    this shows the value shane watson brings to this australian side.........faulkner maxwell cuttings marsh are no way near the talent of watson......people like hughes and finch are also not consistent.......sa in with a great chance in the absence of shane watson(and now clark too)..

  • enlightenedone on September 1, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    @gwyll. yes its south africa that has one 4 world cups including three in a row. yes its south africa that has the best odi and test record out of any other test playing nation. yes its australia that choke at every major tournament after going in as the favorites. oh wait....

  • G-Wyll on September 1, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    Enlightened one doesn't sound too enlightened does he? Well done Zimbabwe.

  • AlexNag on September 1, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    I think this should become a regular triangular series and be named the battle of the southerns. Congrats to Zim though I still feel Zim should have done the business against SA. I agree with Clarke that the selectors messed up on resting Smith and MJ. Hope to see a Zim v SA Final.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on September 1, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    Why did not Clerk complain before the match? This is just to take credit from Zim. Well done Zim. ZIm showed their improvement the other day against SA also. But SA managed to win by good bowling. Aus could not do it. This is a danger sign for Aus in the WC. This time SA, NZ or Eng might win the WC for the first time.

  • on September 1, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Australia's inability to cope with slow turning tracks has been exposed once more.... After India, this time by Zimbabwe! Imporoving on it is another thing. It will obvioudly take time but good thing for Australia is that they are going to host next World Cup. Watch out other teams, you are not going to get any turner in the world cup. So plan accordingly... espcecially, India, Pak, SL, Wi!

  • Ozcricketwriter on September 1, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    The side that went out to play against Zimbabwe was not Australia's best side, or anything close to it. David Warner wasn't in the squad, Shane Watson was nowhere to be seen, and both Steve Smith and Mitchell Johnson were rested. On top of that, they gave Aaron Finch a go bowling before Glenn Maxwell even. There is nothing wrong with doing that for a warm up match, to try to get the temp composition right ahead of the World Cup, but it just highlighted to them that the time to experiment is now, not halfway through the World Cup, because if they are experimenting then, then even teams like Zimbabwe can capitalise. The good news, though, is that Nathan Lyon is suitable for ODI cricket after all. Indeed, I think he is more suitable to the shorter formats than to tests. It has also given hints that Mitchell Marsh could be risked in the World Cup - though whether he is quite there is another matter entirely. George Bailey also looks out of form so may miss out.

  • Nimme_1980 on September 1, 2014, 8:36 GMT

    Worst ever display by Aussie

  • Ramsespd on September 1, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    Should have taken Clint McKay, statistics say he's one of the best ODI bowlers in the world. He may have dropped off slightly in form of late but he's economical. I wouldn't play Johnson and Starc in the same side. One or both generally leak plenty of runs and Australia is lacking someone who can bowl economically at the moment. Wickets come from the build up of pressure at both ends and it doesn't appear to be happening in games. If they said they were looking at blokes ahead of the world cup I'd accept it but that doesn't seem to be the case. Clarke should'nt have played either, how much more damage has been done to his fragile body for playing in a pointless ODI series?

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 8:35 GMT

    @Cmac389 re: Faulkner. I disagree - Faulkner has one of the best FC bowling averages in Australia. And he can bat as well.

    With ODI batting and bowling averages of 43 and 32 respectively, there is a strong case to suggest that he is the best all-rounder in Australia (and that includes Watson). He also has outstanding leadership potential, as recently acknowledge by the Aussie selectors in choosing him as Capt of the Aus A team.

  • Cmac389 on September 1, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    No one disputes Faulkner's batting talent and his superb hundred in India and level headed chase against England supports that but he is not a frontline bowler and is holding up a proper seamers spot. He either needs to play as a batsmen and bat at 6 or vacate the team as there are better bowlers waiting in the wings...

  • First_Drop on September 1, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    I see that a few of the SA fans are still hurting over the last test series. That's fair enough, but lets not start inventing facts...Clarke was gracious in defeat whilst venting a little at the Aussie selectors.

    As regards Steve Smith - he's so much more than a ODI specialist, as he's proved in recent times.

  • social_monster09 on September 1, 2014, 7:17 GMT

    I am very much disappointed by this type of performance by the Aussies. Wrong team selection, wrong shot selection, pathetic fielding, Clarke's hamstring & obviously bad decision after winning the toss to bat first on such a dry wicket which looks like 5th day pitch of India. (A shameful offense). But I am worried for SA because now all frustration & anger of Oz players will outburst on SA tomorrow. Poor Africans. I beg to Boof to select a proper squad for tomorrow's match because it will be a S.Final for Oz's. Squad is as follows:- 1.Finch 2.Hughes/March 3.Bailey 4.Smith 5.Maxwell 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Cutting 9.Mitch 10.Starc 11.Lyon

  • Johnny_129 on September 1, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    @ Andre117 on (September 1, 2014) - You must be reading a different article or something, mate! Clarke does give credit to Zimbabwe, "I want to take nothing away from Zimbabwe. I think they outplayed us and they certainly deserved to win today". That is gracious enough from a fair and fiercely competitive leader. As for SA, they have some soul-searching to do - They may win these little series BUT what happens to them in BIG TOURNAMENTS. SA have a very sorry record when it comes to knock-out matches in WC's. I am not saying that they do not win the big tournaments, I am saying that they cant even win knock-out matches!!! And this is inclusive of ALL the missing big names you mentioned! Kallis, Styen, De Villiers etc!!! It's quite a phenomenon - Not winning tournaments when going in as hot favourites is one thing but not even winning in knock-out stages is a different thing altogether - again and again and again and again. What could it possibly be - mental barrier, fear of winning..???

  • on September 1, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    missing warner and watson.....

  • enlightenedone on September 1, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    @andre117 making up facts to validate your point are we? ab de villiers and morkel were the only ones that didnt play. amla and steyn played. and you hardly trashed zimbabwe last game they had a chance to beat you. too bad this isnt australia's strongest odi team where as south africa have fielded a full strenght team with a lot of cricket under their belts. but come around to australia for the one day series we have against you soon and you will see why this team is one of the favorites for the world cup. what did i say before this match started? i said steve smith needs to play in one of my earlier comments because he is a very good player or spin and a class batsman. and now look at michael clarke echoing my statements in hindsight.

  • Mervo on September 1, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    Very strange comment Siddharth Mane, since Clarke top scored ...

  • on September 1, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    Excellent victory for Zimbabwe they played very well and credit should goes to every member of the team. Clarke is very unhappy about composition of the team many talented and two good cricketers are left of the team and add insult to injury repeated failures of the senior members of the team. When captain is not given free hand about selection nor taken his advise there no point in leading any team especially during the overseas trip , the team selection should be made on advise of the captain and not based other consideration and this virus is spread to Australia also ( it was all along limited to sub continent), my sincere advise to Clarke it is better to quit and when composition of the team was compromised .There is no doubt about the world class bating of Clarke .

  • on September 1, 2014, 6:48 GMT

    Smith has the potential to be the future captain of OZ. His child-like enthusiasm is genuine and infectious. Hope the bosses give him as many chances as possible, when he is still quite young. Young enough to learn and assimilate the nuances of captaincy. A bit of long term planning will not hurt anybody, except perhaps the competing teams from elsewhere.

    Though I am an Indian fan, I would love to see good competitive cricket being played by ALL teams.

  • on September 1, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    Whatever may be happening in Zim, OZ is the overwhelming favourites to win the next 50-50 world cup. Only their administrators and selectors can mess it up.

  • on September 1, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    @andre.. did u not see the last game only de villers n morkel didn't play the others did. and u can make excuses about whose not there all u want for both teams.

  • dunger.bob on September 1, 2014, 6:35 GMT

    On the positive side, it's good to see Lyon get some wickets. I'm definitely not sure about him in the One Day side though. .. he needs to take wickets against South Africa as well before I'm willing to say yeah, ok, maybe.

  • on September 1, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    Lets look at it for a whole aus didn't have the right team for the conditions but I know lehman doesn't care about a tri series in zim. he has one goal for the odi team and that's the world cup in aus at the end of the summer, which wont spin and which wont be a boring struggle here in aus. so hes picked the pace bowlers to get the games under the belt for the world cup. smart coaching if u ask me

  • tokoloshe on September 1, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Andre 117 - Clarke is a hard-nose captain that always rubs the opposition up the wrong way but he is always willing to give credit to the opposition. "I want to take nothing away from Zimbabwe. I think they outplayed us and they certainly deserved to win today."

  • Andre117 on September 1, 2014, 6:05 GMT

    Australia drop 2 (hardly key) players and lose to Zimbabwe. SA trash Zimbabwe without Amla, De Villiers, Steyn or Morkel (our top 4 players) never mind losing Smith and Kallis recently as well.

    Just a bunch of excuses to cover up the embarassment. Why not give Zimbabwe credit for playing well and causing one of the biggest upsets in ODI history?

  • KhanMitch on September 1, 2014, 5:58 GMT

    Hughes is the player who just looks lost everytime spin is bought on, bring Smith in and drop Hughes as he won't be able to stand up to more quality spin that awaits him against other nations.

  • on September 1, 2014, 4:58 GMT

    I think Clarke inclusion was problem rather than anyone exclusion ..Smith should have been played instead of Clarke ..how can player play if he is still injured and without match practice

  • on September 1, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    I am one of those who do not believe in the rotation policy or the resting policy etc. I know there are plus and minus on both sides and there are proponents and opponents for any policy, I am only telling that I am never a supporter of these rotation policy and policy of resting players during some games. If a player is not in form or not fit to play he should be officially removed for that match or for few matches until he is fit or fine to play but if a player is in form then he should not be rested without his consent. If a player himself does not want to play one or few matches because he needs some rest etc then it is his prerogative but the captain OR coach OR selectors forcing a player to take rest is not something I ever agree, and this is so mainly because it allows bias and prejudice to enter and the captain OR coach OR selectors etc can do it according to their liking and this can affect the career of a player, or the out come of a game, or a series and so on so forth.

  • Insult_2_Injury on September 1, 2014, 4:31 GMT

    Posted by Balasg: Mate if Clarke is injured as you say and playing, then Australia needs more players like that! He top scored by batting to the conditions and the good bowling opponent on the day. Interesting that the two blokes who 'dug in' were Clarke & Haddin, says something for experience and common sense. Also shows that the conditions world wide should not be standardised to ensure six hitting contests for flat track bullies like Maxwell. That's just 'entertainment' for spectators not a contest for cricket fans. It also becomes boring very quickly.

    Keep experimenting Australia, you don't need your final 14 settled until Feb next year, then it'll mean something. Fifth World Cup win on fifth continent has a nice ring to it.

  • paapam on September 1, 2014, 4:28 GMT

    Smith's unique combination of intensity and fun makes him a great team mate. His batting skills are undeniable and with more responsibility his bowling could win Australia matches. He is a brilliant fielder to boot. He is a future captain and should play every game.

  • anver777 on September 1, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Like Clarke said, Smith is a limited over specialist & he should have been playing XI.... Not only his batting & bowling, Aus missed his breathtaking fielding too !!!

  • on September 1, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Get over it people , wins in 20/20 or ODI isn't as strong/weak compared to a test.

  • Rahul_78 on September 1, 2014, 4:21 GMT

    I always thought that selectors select the squad of 14 for the tour and it is a skipper who should select the final XI to take the field along with some inputs from coach and few seniors in the side. Really surprised to hear from Clarke that he is not allowed to have his preferred XI on the park. After all it is the skipper who has to man up to everyone when there is a terrible loss like this one.

  • Azizul84 on September 1, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    I believe Smith is the most promising young prospect for australia in all formats. I don't realise why people try to ignore him in odi or t20. He is far more talented than so called power hitters in australian line up. If he is given proper opportunity and freedom to play his natural game, he is sure to prosper in all formats. Please selectors don't ignore him. In my opinion he is the best fielder in world cricket.

  • OneEyedAussie on September 1, 2014, 4:04 GMT

    Clarke has diplomatically criticised only the omission of Smith and Johnson, but privately I am sure he (like a lot of us) will be thinking there were too many bits and pieces players in this team that wouldn't be able to cut it on one discipline alone. These are: Maxwell, Faulkner, Marsh, Cutting. These is room in ODI cricket for 1-2 of these types of players at best. Hughes also has question marks over his ability to play spin at an international level.

  • Balasg on September 1, 2014, 3:46 GMT

    Clarke alwats blames selectors or his team mates, if he is injury why he is playing. He has take rest, many times he fly back or rest in series if Ausi lost match. Still he bowls an over, seems he is overacting. If team wins he say team work if loss he blames same team not good inclusing pannels or individual. Marsh is upcomming player, see he dont like the selectors inclusing Marsh, if u saw marsh bowling 3-1 4-0. Then 4-1-13-0. Why he never continue him for few overs. Time to retire for clarke and Bailey has to retain captain. He is good in t20 and 1day

  • Yasiransari on September 1, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    Yes Clarky, Australia also missed hyden, shane warne,Don bradman and etc etc ,,Common aussie except it zim outplayed you,

  • TEROSHAN on September 1, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Miracles happen once in a time in TEST Cricket.. Even T20Wc in 2007 they Lost to Zim. No wonder if Ausies have won this TRI Serious By Beating SA.. But How Clarke can blame to Selectors in Public.. I still believe that Best Aus ODI Captain after Ponting is G Bealry ..

  • bren19 on September 1, 2014, 3:18 GMT

    If Australia has dropped the rotation policy, then why did mitch need a rest - especially after 2 games (20 overs). A few less all rounders and a few genuine batsmen might help a bit.

  • on September 1, 2014, 3:06 GMT

    Zim recently defeated Pak, a regular Test playing nation in a TEST match. So if they defeated Aus in an ODI, not a big deal. Most of the settled teams are using these ODI's to find missing links from their final squad. Few unexpected results are likely. I believe that was the case with Aus and not the arrogant selection with overconfidence of defeating Zim. If later was the case, you are going to have trouble come 2015.

  • on September 1, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    PFEL, I'm surprised you didn't mention Faulkner and mentioned Cutting instead. Looking at the match statistics, neither got a wicket, but Cutting was more economical plus he got valuable runs which Faulkner didn't.

    To be honest its a shame that Faulkner has struggled this year. I do hope he bounces back this coming summer for Australia.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    @Dragoncricketer and @PFEL: Hughes struggled a bit against spin, but no more than the rest of them. You can't pin everything on one player just because you don't like him. At least he guts it out for longer than most.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    Lehmann has got many plaudits since his promotion to international coach, but here we have to accpet he got it wrong. He fiddled arround with the team far too much to expect them to win. they are expecting Marsh to be a winner, but the kid simply isn't ready, they only picked one spinner in spinning conditions - poor team selection and underestimating the opponent.

  • dunger.bob on August 31, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    I don't think it matters what spin you out on it, it was a terrible performance from our guys and an excellent one from the Zims. Good on them, bad on us.

  • ladycricfan on August 31, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    It is good to know that the selectors select the XI in Australia and not the captain. If india followed the same way, what happened in india's test series v Eng would never have happened. There were lots of questionable selections and omissions. Captain can have some inputs but the final XI should be a collective decision by the selectors. Captain job is to get the best out of the selected XI.

  • MinusZero on August 31, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    Clarke should not have been picked with an injury. That didnt help either

  • DragonCricketer on August 31, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    I think Clarke would be thinking no Hughes. Apparently Hughes really struggled against the spin with numerous balls passing the edge in a 10 from 30 balls, Captain Clarke was at the other end watching first hand. It would be nice to see Hughes have a string of big scores and solidify his position. As others have said, it reminds me of Hayden and Langer, scoring heavily in state etc but failing to deliver at test etc level for many years. Apparently Hughes' work ethic is amazing and he has overcome a few defects in his batting and I'm confident he will become a top player of spin in time.

  • PFEL on August 31, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    "but it means you've got to leave someone out as well so that's always difficult." - no it's not. Mitch Marsh, Phil Hughes, Ben Cutting. Leave any of them out. Steve Smith is better than all 3 put together. On a dustbowl like this having Hughes in the team is worse than just playing with 10 men.

  • on August 31, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    With all due respect to Clarke, This is a very lame excuse ! This tour is a good chance to test a traditionally solid bench strength, is 2 players omission is THE reason for the loss then in my view this is a wrong analysis. Smith might be a good spin playing batsman, but what about the rest? are they all bunnies with the bat? This is the Aussie team we are talking about which has set highest of the standards even when their seniors retired !

  • on August 31, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    So what ! Let them too win a match. No one is surprised when Afghanistan wins. Zimbabwe has been in the game for a very long time. No team is invincible. We hope for a new team, like New Zealand, to clinch the World Cup this time.

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  • on August 31, 2014, 20:25 GMT

    So what ! Let them too win a match. No one is surprised when Afghanistan wins. Zimbabwe has been in the game for a very long time. No team is invincible. We hope for a new team, like New Zealand, to clinch the World Cup this time.

  • on August 31, 2014, 21:16 GMT

    With all due respect to Clarke, This is a very lame excuse ! This tour is a good chance to test a traditionally solid bench strength, is 2 players omission is THE reason for the loss then in my view this is a wrong analysis. Smith might be a good spin playing batsman, but what about the rest? are they all bunnies with the bat? This is the Aussie team we are talking about which has set highest of the standards even when their seniors retired !

  • PFEL on August 31, 2014, 21:18 GMT

    "but it means you've got to leave someone out as well so that's always difficult." - no it's not. Mitch Marsh, Phil Hughes, Ben Cutting. Leave any of them out. Steve Smith is better than all 3 put together. On a dustbowl like this having Hughes in the team is worse than just playing with 10 men.

  • DragonCricketer on August 31, 2014, 21:26 GMT

    I think Clarke would be thinking no Hughes. Apparently Hughes really struggled against the spin with numerous balls passing the edge in a 10 from 30 balls, Captain Clarke was at the other end watching first hand. It would be nice to see Hughes have a string of big scores and solidify his position. As others have said, it reminds me of Hayden and Langer, scoring heavily in state etc but failing to deliver at test etc level for many years. Apparently Hughes' work ethic is amazing and he has overcome a few defects in his batting and I'm confident he will become a top player of spin in time.

  • MinusZero on August 31, 2014, 22:47 GMT

    Clarke should not have been picked with an injury. That didnt help either

  • ladycricfan on August 31, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    It is good to know that the selectors select the XI in Australia and not the captain. If india followed the same way, what happened in india's test series v Eng would never have happened. There were lots of questionable selections and omissions. Captain can have some inputs but the final XI should be a collective decision by the selectors. Captain job is to get the best out of the selected XI.

  • dunger.bob on August 31, 2014, 23:23 GMT

    I don't think it matters what spin you out on it, it was a terrible performance from our guys and an excellent one from the Zims. Good on them, bad on us.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 1:07 GMT

    Lehmann has got many plaudits since his promotion to international coach, but here we have to accpet he got it wrong. He fiddled arround with the team far too much to expect them to win. they are expecting Marsh to be a winner, but the kid simply isn't ready, they only picked one spinner in spinning conditions - poor team selection and underestimating the opponent.

  • xtrafalgarx on September 1, 2014, 2:55 GMT

    @Dragoncricketer and @PFEL: Hughes struggled a bit against spin, but no more than the rest of them. You can't pin everything on one player just because you don't like him. At least he guts it out for longer than most.

  • on September 1, 2014, 2:56 GMT

    PFEL, I'm surprised you didn't mention Faulkner and mentioned Cutting instead. Looking at the match statistics, neither got a wicket, but Cutting was more economical plus he got valuable runs which Faulkner didn't.

    To be honest its a shame that Faulkner has struggled this year. I do hope he bounces back this coming summer for Australia.