By Robert Smith
Adelaide: Dec 4, 2013
The Australians trounced the Ashes holders by 381 runs in the opening clash at the Gabba for their first Test win over England in almost three years to make the early running in the five-Test series.
Skipper Alastair Cook admitted his England side were “totally outplayed” in Brisbane, but Clarke urged his team to stay grounded heading into what is shaping up as a crucial Test in the series on Thursday.
England fought back to draw the opening Test of the corresponding series in Brisbane three years ago before thumping Australia by an innings and 71 runs in Adelaide and going on to take the series 3-1.
Clarke said the Australia side was a long way from being the team they wanted to be.
“I’m excited by the way we played in Brisbane. But, if you look at our results over the past 12 months, we have no reason to brag, or gloat or be over the top,” he told reporters.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do. Every single player, their feet are well and truly on the ground.
“Our celebration after Brisbane wasn’t anything like I’ve seen Australian teams celebrate when we’ve had big wins like that.
“I think that’s because everybody knows we’re a long way from being the team we want to be. It’s only one Test win and we’ve got some work to do in this second Test and throughout the series.”
Clarke named an unchanged team for Adelaide, the first time he has been able to do so since the corresponding match last summer against South Africa.
“We looked at the wicket and thought about the extra bowling option with James Faulkner in the team,” he said.
“But having Wato (Shane Watson) there, who is back to 100 percent fit, and capable of bowling in both innings is a real positive for the team.
“We’ve seen through his career that his overs are crucial for this team. On good flat wickets like this wicket looks here I think his bowling is going to be very handy not just for taking wickets but also building pressure from one end.”
Clarke vowed to maintain the same hard-nosed approach that Australia used to damaging effect against England at the Gabba.
The skipper was fined 20 percent of his match fee for threatening England tailender James Anderson with a broken arm in the first Test, while Cook was upset at opening batsman David Warner calling his team frightened, singling out batsman Jonathan Trott as “weak”.
Trott withdrew from the Ashes tour after the first Test to deal with what was widely reported to be depression.
“We’ll continue to play a tough brand of cricket on the field, but as we’ve all said, we know there’s a line you can’t cross,” Clarke said.
“The respect hasn’t changed one bit. We still have the ultimate respect for our opposition. They’re a very tough team.
“I think you’ll see the England team come out bigger and stronger after losing in Brisbane and make it a real tough challenge for us in Adelaide.”
Clarke said he was fit to play after turning his ankle during training on Monday. He batted in the nets Wednesday and reported no problems.
“The ankle feels fine,” Clarke said. “I think not training yesterday obviously gave me an extra day…. I feel fine”.
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