Michael Clarke lists “major, major mistakes” by Australia, admits he’s not surprised by team’s struggles
Former skipper Michael Clarke believes Australia’s dismal tour of India so far has been riddled with ‘major, big mistakes’. Clarke feels Australia’s biggest mistake was not playing a tour game before the four-Test series starting on February 9. Instead, Pat Cummins opted to emulate Indian conditions at home before setting up a short camp near Bengaluru ahead of the series opener in Nagpur. , Two weeks later, the visitors trail 0-2 in the series and have already missed a shot at lifting the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Clarke said, “I’m not surprised by what I’m seeing because we didn’t have a tour game. Big, big, big mistake. There should have been at least one match to acclimatize to the conditions.” Big Sports Breakfast on Monday.
The Australian batsmen’s inability to play top quality spin has been fully exposed in the first two Tests.
In Delhi, he tried to force his way but the ploy failed miserably. Also, another big mistake, according to Clarke, was not playing Travis Head in the series opener.
The southpaw top-scored for Australia in the second innings with 43 off 46 balls before his team was all out for 113. It was the first time he opened in Tests.
“Selection for first test, big, big mistake. Second test, guys sweep, we saw a lot of first test matches. They’re not the right position to sweep when you start your innings. And they’re never going to Have been.” To reverse sweep against spin at the start of your innings, you have to be in the right position,” Clarke said.
Half of the side fell to sweep or reverse sweep on low bouncy tracks.
“It doesn’t matter how many support staff there are around, you’re playing for Australia. Certainly as a batsman playing at the highest level, you calculate that risk versus reward.
“Against spin bowling on a pitch like this, you would say my ‘swimming between the flags’ is to play straight, hit with spin.
Clarke said, “Let’s just stick to those two principles. Straight bat … I’m going to play every single ball with spin.”
He also said that Australia should have learned from India how to bat in spin-friendly conditions.
“It seems we are not seeing India batting,” he said. “Why wouldn’t you look at that example and go ‘well, these guys know the conditions so well, and that’s how they’re playing’. When they’ve been so good why would we try something different?” If we made 200 the game was ours to win… and we were 1-60,” he said, referring to a dramatic batting collapse with Australia losing nine wickets for 52 runs.
India needed to chase down 115 and did so with six wickets in hand. Clarke also raised questions on the field placement of Pat Cummins on Sunday.
“I am not sure what happened with our strategy. We had just 100 runs on the board.
“At one point, Patty Cummins had four players on the boundary. Two and a half days left in the Test match. You’re either getting India out for less than a hundred or you’re losing: one or the other.
“If you lose in 20 overs, or you lose in two days, it’s irrelevant. So fielders get up, bat-pad off side, bat-pad leg side. If the ball turns, if the ball bounces If the ball shoots along the field, if you make an error in judgment, you are out.
“That’s what Australia had to do with the ball. I know it’s only a small run lead, but we still had to try and win the game, and we had mid-off backs, mid-on backs, deep Point, there was deep square leg. What was I looking for?”.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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