Clarke a possible No.3 for Australia
Australian opener David Warner says he’s unaware of any move by skipper Michael Clarke to appoint himself to a permanent role at No.3 for the one-day international side, starting with Saturday’s game against Afghanistan.
Clarke’s team are due to train in Sharjah on Thursday and Friday evenings in preparation for their one-off game against Afghanistan, followed by three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches against Pakistan.
The return of Mike Hussey after missing the recent 4-0 ODI series loss away to England is expected to mean he joins his brother David and George Bailey to fill out the top six behind Warner, Matthew Wade and Clarke.
Clarke, who is a regular No.4, is tipped to claim the crucial No.3 position following recent trials with Peter Forrest, Bailey, Wade and Shane Watson in the first-drop role.
The skipper batted at No.3 in two games during a week-long camp in Darwin earlier this month.
“Not that I know of. That’s between the captain and the coach and the selectors,” Warner told a media conference in Dubai on Thursday when asked about Clarke’s new role.
“It’s an opportunity for another guy to come up to that position and try to stake his claims to cement that spot.
“He did bat at No.3 (in Darwin) and he batted very well as he normally does.”
A report on the cricinfo website says Clarke averages 36.20 in 18 ODI matches at No.3 and is set to make a permanent move to the position.
Top-order batsman and vice-captain Watson is recovering from a calf injury and won’t play in the upcoming four ODI matches.
Warner, a noted big hitter, says he’s getting his head around facing 30 overs of spin per game against Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Australian batsmen took a lot of heart from the experience of dealing with turning decks in Darwin, Warner said.
“The balls were turning square and going over guys’ heads and were doing all sorts of things and the boys adapted very well,” Warner said.
“We did the basic things, trying to get off strike, trying to rotate as well as we possibly could.
“Some of us struggle against spin bowling and we know they (Afghanistan and Pakistan) are going to have a lot of spin bowlers.
“Over here, we’re going to have to be at our best and keep rotating the strike through the tough periods.
“Rotating the strike is a thing that I want to get out of this tour. If I can rotate the strike as well as I can and hit my boundaries, it’s going to be good for the team.”
Warner said he hadn’t seen a lot of footage of the Afghanistan side.
“We’re expecting a team that’s jumping out of their skin to play against Australia. They’re the type of people who can bring anything to the table,” he said.
Saturday’s game is due to start at 6pm local time and continue after midnight in a bid to avoid the 40-degree heat.© AAP 2013
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