Clarke hails belief after Windies Test win

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    When times are tough in next year’s bid to regain the Ashes in England, Australia’s cricketers can draw on their comeback win over the West Indies in Barbados to show nothing is impossible.

    From 8-258 in reply to the Windies’ first innings of 9(dec)-449 on the fourth morning in Bridgetown, Australia rose from nowhere to stun the home team and complete a three-wicket win in the evening gloom on Wednesday.

    Australia’s three-wicket win on the fifth and final day completed a remarkable five-session turnaround at Kensington Oval, chasing down 192 runs in 47 overs.

    Earlier, Australia claimed the five Windies’ second-innings wickets in the morning session to dismiss the hosts for 148.

    Victory was achieved through Ryan Harris’s match-turning 68 not out, Michael Clarke’s bold decision to declare while still 43 runs behind in the first innings – the first time an Australian team has declared behind and won the match with all 11 players available to bat – and then a devastating three-wicket spell by Ben Hilfenhaus to gut the Windies’ top order.

    Clarke said the victory is the sort of effort which his team can draw upon in the challenges that lie ahead – particularly next year’s Ashes campaign in England.

    “As a player individually, I guess you realise and experience the thought of things not going to plan at the start of the game but you can still win – you can turn it around,” he said.

    “It gives every single player in the team confidence that if they back their own ability, whether it be with bat or with ball, you can have success at this level, in any conditions, even if your back is to the wall.”

    The back-from-the-dead nature of the win harked back to Australia’s turnaround in the 2006-07 Ashes Test in Adelaide where England posted 6(dec)-551 only for Shane Warne and Michael Hussey to lead Australia to a stunning win on their way to a 5-0 series whitewash.

    That team was of a more-experienced nature than Clarke’s line-up but, with five straight Test wins under their belt, Clarke is hopeful a new winning mentality based on unwavering self belief is being developed.

    “I remember Warney telling me back then that with a day and a half left in the (Adelaide) Test match, that we would win the game and I was trying to work out how,” Clarke said.

    “At best, surely, we’d get a draw but he had no doubt in his mind. For me as a young player, I thought ‘righto, that’s my attitude – I’m going to win’.

    “A few years on and I’m in the change rooms telling the boys we’re going to win this Test match. Hopefully, a few of them believe me the way I believed Warney back then.

    “It shows, if you have that self belief … that you find ways.

    “I know it’s tough. I know we’re tired. I know there’s going to be issues of the foot marks. I know it’s going to be a tough run chase but find a way.

    “Credit to the boys, they certainly found a way.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:38am
      Vas Venkatramani said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:38am | ! Report

      For someone viewed widely as a self-absorbed pretty boy that didn’t deserve the success he has received, Clarke is surely shaping up to be an inspirational figure in that dressing room.

      Underneath the tatts, the hair product and the teeth whitening gel, there’s a bit of steel in his bone.

      I mean, who even talks about Simon Katich’s axing anymore? The results demand Clarke be given respect, and that’s what he’s getting for the ruthlessly attacking yet graceful way he leads our team. He’s earning respect from our opponents too, something our previous skippers had problems with.

      I’m just really excited about him leading us for the next five years and seeing what kind of team we become with his tactical flair and intelligence…

      • April 13th 2012 @ 9:16am
        jameswm said | April 13th 2012 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        Yeah I guess he’s showing you can be aggressive, ruthless, successful and tough, without being unpleasant.

        If he can manage that, be smart and win, what will the other countries have left to bag us about? On that score, Haddin has to go, because he’s about the last (with Ponting) of the hangover from the bad old days. Hussey never really fit into that unpleasant category.

        Problem remains our top order.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 11:02am
        Rhys said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        Well said Vas. Clarke is slowly but surely building a new dynasty, stamped with his own brand of captaincy. There’ll be some more hitches along the way, but all signs in recent months are pointing to a bright future.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 11:35am
        Brendon said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        People’s reaction to Clarke always showed more about their bias, narrow mindedness and prejudices than it did about Clarke’s character. It also showed their shallow and superficial knowledge of the sport.

        • April 15th 2012 @ 10:39pm
          Blaze said | April 15th 2012 @ 10:39pm | ! Report

          Well sed brendon.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 11:34am
      jameswm said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:34am | ! Report

      I keep meaning to ask – why did Pattinson not play? He was our no.1 bowler in the tests in Australia.

      Is he injured? Were the others considered in better form? Are they rotating? Is he less suited to the conditions?

      • April 13th 2012 @ 11:36am
        Brendon said | April 13th 2012 @ 11:36am | ! Report

        Because he bowled horribly during the limited overs series. The kid still has a long way to go.

        • April 13th 2012 @ 3:10pm
          jameswm said | April 13th 2012 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

          Yeah but he’s a better test bowler. Siddle and Hilfy often bowl horribly in ODIs.

    • April 15th 2012 @ 10:33pm
      M-Rod said | April 15th 2012 @ 10:33pm | ! Report

      “Credit to the boys, they certainly found a way”… actually credit to Shane Watson, I’ve noticed he’s certainly found a way to avoid LBW dismissals using the DRS and Hawkeye limits to maximum advantage..

      His predominant batting style is to thrust his front foot forward along the line of the off-stump, so the front pad covers the natural trajectory of a Right Hand quick to the stumps… in the event he misses the shot or doesn’t offer, and is given out, he will challenge with the DRS and Hawkeye will in most cases show the ball hitting the pad outside the line of off stump…

      The positioning of Watson’s front foot mean that in most cases a ball going on to hit the stumps will show up in Hawkeye as just outside the line… and according to Hawkeye’s rules the call is made in the batsman’s favour…

      So, again Watson, early in his second innings of the Windies test (with a tricky 190 run chase ahead on a flaky wicket), sticks his front foot forward, not offering shot and ball hits his pads…he’s given not out, so Windies call on DRS, and sure enough Hawkeye shows the predicted path of the ball into off-stump… but the point of impact according to Hawkeye is – you guessed it – just outside of off-stump.

      I have seen this happen many times with Watson’s batting, he survives an uncanny amount of LBW decisions for this reason, .. an incredulous situation, thanks to a technology that hedges against itself… either Hawkeye is smart and accurate enough to predict the ball hitting the stumps in an LBW (as it did on this occasion), in which case why are we persisting with this ‘outside the line’ rubbish… if not then its just another layer of ‘variability’ in the LBW decision process and not the answer we need or should be putting up with.

      But my point is that Watson is onto this and uses it to advantage…

      • April 16th 2012 @ 10:22am
        jameswm said | April 16th 2012 @ 10:22am | ! Report

        M-Rod – I think the bigger point is that you need to learn the rules of cricket.

        If you’re playing a shot, then you can’t be out if the ball hits you outside off. There’s no benefit of the doubt to the batsman – the benefit of doubt with the DRS goes to umpire’s call.

        Whether or not the ball will go on to his the stumps is irrelvant if it hits you outside off, just as it is if the ball pitches outside leg.

        If Watson can use the laws to his advantage, good luck to him.

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