Michael Clarke knows he has to work hard to return to the Test team but is not planning on changing his natural approach. Clarke became another victim of the Australian fallout from the Ashes when he was dropped just hours after the nine-wicket win over the West Indies to clinch the series in Hobart on Monday.
Clarke burst into Test cricket late last year but in 20 Test appearances he has scored 1,072 runs at 36.96. More importantly, in the 15 matches since his Brisbane century against New Zealand his average has slipped to 25.28. "I don't want to change the way I play," he said. "I enjoy walking out and being positive and being aggressive."
But he conceded he may have to review his shot selection, as suggested by his New South Wales state coach Trevor Bayliss. "I haven't had time to reassess, to be honest, so I'll spend the next few days having a look at how my cricket has gone the last ten months," he said. "There's not something that stands out to me, so I don't want to change too much. I'll have a look and see where I can improve."
Clarke, 24, went straight to work on Tuesday to recapture his Test spot. "I was here at 11 o'clock training," Clarke said outside the Sydney Cricket Ground nets. "I got straight back into the nets. I know that's where my work needs to be done. If I want to have any chance of getting back into that great Test team I need to work as hard as I can at my game. I need to score as many runs as possible."
Clarke said he was disappointed with the decision but did not blame anyone. "I look within and I see my performances aren't where I would like them to be, so I accept the decision," he said. "I've had plenty of time to perform, to score runs, and I haven't done that."
The fifth player to be dropped from Australia's Ashes-losing side, Clarke joins the bowlers Michael Kasprowicz and Jason Gillespie and fellow batsmen Damien Martyn and Simon Katich.