Clarke critical of own batting
Australian skipper Michael Clarke will put his own batting under the microscope ahead of Sunday’s second one-day international against England at Lord’s.
Clarke blamed his sluggish innings for making life tough for his team in a tense four-run victory at The Oval on Friday, which gave them a 1-0 lead in the seven-match series.
“Hopefully that’s an area I can improve,” Clarke said.
“I’ve got some work to do in the nets tomorrow leading up to Sunday’s match but hopefully I can score a little bit freer come Sunday.”
Clarke struggled against legspinner Adil Rashid on his way to 45 off 72 balls and was out on the third ball of the batting power play, which the Australians took in the 43rd over, to put his team at 4-190.
Man of the match Callum Ferguson was unbeaten with 71 off 75 balls and Cameron White contributed 53 as Australia posted a total of 5-260.
England needed 13 off the last over and when the 21-year-old Rashid hit Nathan Bracken for four on the second ball, it looked like they might reach the target, but they only managed 8-256 in reply.
Clarke admitted to feeling “scratchy” during his unbeaten 27 off 34 against England in their washed-out Twenty20 last weekend and he made just 16 in the ODI against Scotland in the warm-up for that match.
But he scored 39 not out, 66 and an unbeaten century against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in April and May.
“I feel like my one-day form’s been pretty consistent,” said Clarke.
“It’s just a different form of the game and it’s probably taken me a couple of games to get back into it.”
Having taken some kind of revenge at the site of their fifth-Test defeat, which handed England the Ashes 2-1, Clarke’s men will be looking for a repeat when they return to Lord’s, where the home side won the second Test.
“Hoping to improve on today,” Clarke said when asked about the prospect of another piece of pay-back.
“We’ve got a lot of new players in our squad that didn’t take part in the Ashes. One-day cricket is a lot different to Test cricket, I’m taking a lot of positives out of tonight.”
Of the positives, Ferguson’s ODI career best was decisive, while White was promoted to No.3 and stepped up.
Opener Shane Watson hit 46 off 50 balls and he claimed 1-40 off six overs.
“Callum Ferguson played beautifully,” Clarke said.
“Cameron White, to get an opportunity at No.3 and play the way he did was fantastic. It shows he’s a good all-round player and can bat at any position.
“It’s amazing what opportunity does. It’s very exciting for us, but more importantly it was a wonderful game of cricket and I would imagine the next six games will be very tight and hard-fought one-day internationals.”
England opener Joe Denly was ruled out of the match at Lord’s after missing the first game with a knee injury suffered while taking part in a football warm-up at training the previous day.
England captain Andrew Strauss said the routine had been abandoned as a result.
“I think we’ll be mixing up our warm-up routine from now on,” he said.
“It wasn’t played this morning.”© AAP 2013
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