Michael Clarke on Tuesday said he is left with no choice but to move up at the No 3 or No 4 slot in the Australian batting line-up for the third Test match against India at Mohali, which begins on March 14.
“I think I have no choice now. It’s not about me but what the team needs, and now especially in these conditions, I have to bat higher up,” Clarke was quoted as saying by BCCI’s official portal.
“The team’s batting order cannot revolve around one player. We need our top six batsmen to score runs and our bowling unit to pick wickets. It cannot be about one person. I’ve never played my cricket that way and I don’t want this team to do that. I believe we have the talent and every single one of us has to get better. I’d have liked to score more runs in the first innings and many more today. So, I’ve got work to do myself,” he said.
Reflecting on Australia’s poor batting show in the second Test at Hyderabad, which ended in four days, with the tourists losing the tie by an innings and 135 runs.
“Our batting has been unacceptable in the first two Test matches. I’m more concerned about our first innings performances than our second innings, mainly because we won both tosses and the wickets have been at their best when we batted. 237 is unacceptable. We have no excuse for making 237 in the first innings.
“Our shot selection has been horrible. A lot of our guys were out playing across the line of the ball and against the spin, especially early in the innings. That’s where we need to be more discreet and disciplined,” Clarke lamented.
The Australian captain urged his players to take lessons from Indian batsmen, especially Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay.
“They showed us once again how to bat in these conditions – once you get in, how to go on and cash in to make a big score. In the first session on the second day, India scored 49 runs. But they had the discipline and patience to bat for a long time. They knew as the day goes on, it gets easier to bat and they’ll catch up,” he said.
Clarke added, “There are so many people who support us from home and those who fly around to watch us. We know that we’ve let them down. And we’ve let each other down. We have gotten out at crucial stages and let their partners down at the other end. By bowling bad overs, we’ve let our bowling partners down. By dropping catches, we’ve let our bowlers down. As a team, we’re letting each other down and that’s the most disappointing thing.”
“I feel disappointed and I hope everyone in the Australian dressing room feels that way and feel like they’ve let a lot of people down. We need to feel disappointed, but that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible so that we can get better,” the Australian skipper said.
However, Clarke admitted that it is not the right time for him to be angry with his players.
“I don’t think me being angry with them will help because I’m responsible as well. I got out today cheaply and that makes me no different to any other player,” he concluded.
First Published: March 5, 2013, 4:56 pm