Home > News >

India vs Australia 2013: Gautam Gambhir’s exclusion baffles Michael Clarke

India vs Australia 2013: Gautam Gambhir's exclusion baffles Michael Clarke

Australian skipper Michael Clarke feels India will miss the experience of Gautam Gambhir in the upcoming Test series © Getty Images

Chennai: Feb 15, 2013

Australia captain Michael Clarke , on Friday, sought to play mind-games ahead of the high-profile Test series against India, saying that opener Gautam Gambhir‘s omission from the Test squad has come as a happy news for his bowlers.

Clarke said he expected a batsman of Gambhir’s calibre to be in the team and India will badly miss his experience.

“I expected him [Gambhir] to be in the Test team. He is a wonderful player and has played for India for a long time now.I think there are a few bowlers in our team who are happy he is not playing,” the Australian captain told the reporters on the eve of their second and final warm-up game against Gambhir-led India A.

Terming Gambhir as a “wonderful guy”, Clarke hoped that the left-hander will hit the straps soon and get back into the national reckoning.

“He is a wonderful guy and I really like him and I get along really well with him. If he scores runs, I’m sure he will get his chance with the Indian team again,” he said.

Australian teams over the years have been known to start mind-games prior to the series, which Steve Waugh had once famously termed as “mental disintegration” of the opponents but Clarke believes that the game is about on-field performances and not making statements.

“It’s not about what you say. It’s about what you do. As a player, as the Australian cricket team, that’s our goal. It’s no good making statements and comments and not backing them up. I’d rather want people to say less and do more, so that’s our goal. Perform well on the field, that’s all we want.” 

Asked about his role in leading the batting line-up against a superior Indian spin attack, Clarke replied that success can never be guaranteed but he and his colleagues have trained hard to atleast have a shot at success.

“Reputation is irrelevant, to be honest, especially when its my reputation. I start on zero like everybody else. My last tour to India wasn’t anywhere near as successful as I would have liked. I really enjoy the challenge of facing spin but it still gets me out, like it does every player.”

“I’ll tick every box off the field in terms of preparation and training and then I will go in and enjoy myself.”

Questioned whether he has done an analysis of strengths and weakenesses of his team as well as his opponents, Clarke wnet on the defensive.

“Australian team has no weaknesses at all (Laughs). I don’t think it will be right for me to sit here and tell you what the Australian team’s strengths and weaknesses are and I don’t think it will be fair to give you the Indian team’s strengths and weaknesses either.”

“We have to be really focussed just on us and on the areas we need to get better at and not worry too much about our opposition.”

Although he admitted that the current Australian team doesn’t have too much experience like it had few years back but the focus will be on performing as a team.

“When you look at the team now compared to when I first came in, we had so many experienced players, so many great players; probably seven or eight players in the team when I made my debut were as good as any seven or eight players in the world. We are a lot less experienced now.”

“Yes, every one of us has the same goals, the same commitment, the same work ethic. We know that to be successful, we need to perform well as a team. It’s not about individuals making a hundred or a two hundred or taking five wickets. That’s not going to give us the success we want over a long period.” .

Clarke and dashing opener David Warner won’t be playing in the game tomorrow as they are recuperating from their respective injuries.

“I do have a team for tomorrow: Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Khawaja, Henriques, Wade, Siddle, Starc, Lyon, Doherty and Agar,” Clarke informed unlike the India A team coach who was non-committal about his playing XI.

“The reason for skipping this game is that David Warner and I were injured prior to coming here and it’s in the best interests of the team and us as individuals that we continue to do our work off the field. We’re going to use these three days to make sure we are prepared for the first day of the Test match.”

From the next-best thing in Australian cricket to the leader of the team, on how own admission, he has evolved as a cricketer.

“I guess some good times, when the team has had a lot of success and I have scored some runs, and some tough times, when I have been dropped from the Test team and I didn’t know if I was going to get back into the team. Now the positive is that the team is playing well and I am able to captain Australia.

“So there have been plenty of ups and downs through my career some moments that I will cherish forever and some moments in my career that have made me the player I am today.

When I was dropped from the Australian Test team, without going through what I went through at the time, I don’t think I would be the player that I am today,” was his forthright assessment.

The 31-year-old is of the opinion that as a senior player, one needs to protect the juniors and take additional burden.

“Being a senior player, not just the captain, it is part of your responsibility. As you get older, as you play more cricket, the responsibility is on some of us who have played a lot of Test cricket to stand up and lead from the front, make sure the youngsters are taken along.” .

“I was lucky when I came into the Australian team that there were so many senior players around to answer the questions I wanted to ask and help me with advice and keep my feet on the ground. Now I am a little bit older and a little big greyer, so it’s part of my job to make sure I do the same to the young guys coming in.”

Due to the opposition of the Indian Cricket Board, the DRS is not being used in the series but Clarke has no issues regarding it.

“To me, it’s about consistency. It’s the same for both teams in this four-Test series. Here in India, if we use it, great, if we don’t use it, great; It doesn’t matter to me as captain of the Australian team. It doesn’t bother any of the Australian players.”

Although he admitted about having a chat with former skipper Ricky Ponting but didn’t wish to divulge any details.

“I spoke to Ricky in Australia but not about this series.”

On a lighter note, the skipper informed that he is looking to roll his arm over at the Chepauk.

“You’ll see the spin bowling of Michael Clarke definitely. In Chennai. Five wickets!”

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

AB de Villiers speaks ahead of New Zealand ODIs

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 New Zealand Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Tinashe Panyangara turns 29

Brendon McCullum praises AB de Villiers, JP Duminy after South Africa’s win in 1st ODI over New Zealand

AB de Villiers pleased with South Africa’s performance against New Zealand in 1st ODI

Mohsin Khan did not respond to PCB coaching job request in 2012: Zaka Ashraf

Geoff Boycott turns 74

Virat Kohli becomes fastest to 20 ODI hundreds

A Pakistan all-time XI: A galaxy of captains

James Neesham can provide more impetus to New Zealand’s weakened batting up the order

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here