Michael Clarke has no plans to alter his aggressive approach after his stunning series in India. Clarke's youthful style alongside his mostly 30-something team-mates is breathtaking and he will make his home debut against New Zealand at the Gabba on Thursday. "What's worked for me has got me this far and I think it's important to continue doing what comes naturally," Clarke told the Daily Telegraph.
Instead of resting since returning from India, Clarke has already trained with New South Wales and was considering a club appearance until named in the Test side. "It's going to be pretty special playing on home soil in front of my family and friends in Brisbane," he said. "This is my dream."
Clarke will reunite with Darren Lehmann, who was recalled after injuring his hamstring in the third Test at Nagpur. The role of Lehmann, preferred to Simon Katich, as a mentor and nurturer apparently sealed his place and kept his Test career alive. At 29, Katich is five years younger than Lehmann and has time to return. "I really don't know what got me over the line but I have the experience factor," Lehmann told the Courier-Mail. "I think my role is to help the young guys throughout their upbringing in the Australian team."
John Buchanan, the coach, said too much was made of the team's average age of 31. Only Clarke, 23, Ricky Ponting, 29, and Jason Gillespie, 29, are under 30. "Whether you're 23 or 38 it's still about whether you've got the skills and whether you can apply the skills," he said. "There's no doubt Darren has got the skills and that he's applied the skills very well over the last 12 or 18 months."
Steve Waugh, who retired at 38, said he was never concerned by age. "I don't think 30 is old for a cricketer any more," he said. "I know with myself in the last three years I felt the fittest in my whole career because you've got more people around to help you."