Test series still wide open, says Michael Clarke

Australian captain Michael Clarke feels India is strong team and cannot be underestimated for the second Test at Sydney Getty Images

Melbourne: Dec 29, 2011

Australia captain Michael Clarke wants his team to be consistent throughout the series against a “formidable” Indian team, following their 122-run win in the first Test.

Clarke, who is yet to win more Tests than one in a series as captain, said they must repeat the all-round performance of the Boxing Day Test in the next game beginning Jan 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

“Consistency is what I have spoken about in the past,” Clarke told reporters at the post-match press conference at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“There were periods throughout that game where we did not perform as well as we would like, so we need to look to improve that come Sydney. We need to assess conditions and see what XI we decide to take into that Test match, but against such a good team you can’t afford to give them a sniff at all,” said Clarke of their batting efforts in the match where they made 333 and 240 in both innings.

Clarke, who made 31 and one with the bat, said there is a long way to go in the four-match series and they must leave the win here behind to start afresh for success in Sydney.

“There is a long way to go in this series. I think it is important we enjoy our success, we have worked really hard and we deserve this win because of the amount of effort and time we have put into our preparation, but it means nothing ahead of the Sydney game.”

“We have to play our best cricket to beat such a strong team. We will take some confidence out of this Test match no doubt, but there is a long way to go.”

He credited his bowlers for bowling out India for 169 in their second innings after the tail wagged to set up a 292-run target for the visitors. Clarke also acknowledged the pitch also offered assistance to the pace trio of Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and James Pattinson.

“What this Test match shows me is if we can knock over such a strong batting line-up like India for the amount of runs we have, there’s got to be something in the wicket as well, can’t just be our batters,” he said. (IANS)