Clark glad to shed rust before India
Three one-day internationals against a struggling Bangladesh have hardly been the ideal preparation for an upcoming Test tour of India, but Stuart Clark says playing any cricket is better than none
Stuart Clark bowled seven overs in each of the first two ODIs against Bangladesh and he is hoping for another decent spell on Saturday
Three one-day internationals against a struggling Bangladesh have hardly been the ideal preparation for an upcoming Test tour of India, but Stuart Clark says playing any cricket is better than none. The first two games in Darwin have been enormously one-sided, although Clark is just happy to get some game time in hot conditions two weeks out from their departure for India.
"It's been tough," Clark said. "I won't lie and say it's been easy. It's been tough because of the humidity. It's part of playing cricket, it's what the conditions are like in many places around the world where we play, so it's something we really need to get used to."
Clark has had no matches under his belt since the Test series in the West Indies, which finished in mid-June. Seven overs in each of the Bangladesh games have started to get him back in the swing of international cricket and Clark hopes it is enough to mean that he is not too rusty in India.
"It's hard when you haven't played for a while and you need to come back in," Clark said. "Okay, the opposition haven't been as good as they'd like to be, but it's still a very good lead-in and experience for what's ahead."
The postponement of the Champions Trophy left Australia with a hole in their schedule in the immediate lead-up to the India Tests, although a second practice game has now been organised. The bowlers must make the most of the warm-ups as they aim to acclimatise to the conditions, with none of Clark, Brett Lee or Mitchell Johnson having played a Test there.
"We're lucky enough to have all played cricket [there], whether it be one-day cricket, or IPL," Clark said. "We'll look at some sort of footage and draw on the experiences of the guys who did play there in 2004. We're going a little bit early now, and make our own adjustments to conditions that aren't like Australia."
The series is being played barely eight months after the end of India's controversial tour of Australia, which featured a racism row between Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh. Clark does not expect major fireworks on this trip regardless of whether Symonds tours, despite him being a "larger than life character".
"As much as what happened, people still love to see him playing cricket and people love playing against him and competing against him, because he's that type of person," Clark said. "The sides get on well, off the field especially. There'll be a little bit of competitiveness ... I wouldn't have thought there'd be too much niggle as far as the nasty stuff."
Before Australia can completely focus on India they will aim to wrap up a cleansweep against Bangladesh. Clark said Australia's batsmen would have to work hard in the seaming and swinging conditions if they batted first, although Bangladesh would need to lift to challenge Australia.
"We expected stronger in the second game and they probably played a little bit better and we're expecting the same thing tomorrow," Clark said. "I'd like to see if we could do another number on them."
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo