Clarke eager to hit form against Sri Lanka

Michael Clarke has gone without a hundred in 10 matches after hitting 168 against New Zealand in Wellington last year Getty Images

Galle: Aug 30, 2011

Michael Clarke is hoping to shrug off his recent poor run in Test cricket when they take on Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

The tourists will rely heavily on the batting exploits of captain Clarke to win the three-Test series, Australia’s first since the embarrassing 3-1 Ashes defeat to England in January.

The right-handed batsman has struggled in the five-day format for almost two years and will be keen to make amends when the first Test opens at the Galle International Stadium.

Clarke, 30, has gone without a hundred in 10 matches after hitting 168 against New Zealand in Wellington in March last year.

But a turnaround in the fortunes of the tourists’ captain and elder statesman may be just an innings away.

Clarke scored two half-centuries during the preceding one-day series against the Sri Lankans which Australia won 3-2. He scored 104 in a three-day practice match in Colombo last week ahead of the first Test.

Clarke, who begins his reign as the full-time Australian Test captain on Wednesday, said he was keen to score Test runs again.

“My form has not been as good as I would like in Test cricket,” Clarke told the travelling Australian media.

“For me, Test cricket is the ultimate, the pinnacle, and I want to be at my best.

“I could not have asked for better preparation, but now I have got to do it when it counts. It’s important to make runs every time I bat but I would prefer a hundred in the first Test.”

Clarke, regarded as one of the finest players of spin bowling, has scored 4,742 runs in 69 Tests at an average of 46.49 with 14 centuries. (AFP)