Australian captain, Michael Clarke, believes that Test cricket is going through an evolutionary process, where all-round players are starting to become high in demand.
He thinks that since all-rounders thrive in the shorter formats of ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals, it should be no different in the longer version of the game.
The Sydney Morning Herald, quoted Clarke as saying: “I reckon you need to have at least two strings to your bow to be part of this set-up at the moment, the way the game’s going, the way international cricket is. I guess we’ve said that for a long time in one-day cricket and then Twenty20 cricket, and now Test cricket is the same.”
Clarke has encouraged his Australian teammates to be proficient in both batting and bowling, as it will bolster the team and make it that much more dangerous.
“You need to be able to give your team a few overs or be a specialist fieldsman in a certain position to take that vital catch, and I see this team as no different. I see overs from a lot of the batters as important as the overs you get out of your frontline quicks. Hence the other side of the coin, the runs our tail make are as important as the ones the top order make,” he said.
Clarke’s theory of being able to bat and bowl was demonstrated by the lower order batting of Ryan Harris, Ben Hilfenhaus and Nathan Lyon, who scored 132 runs between them to see Australia to victory in the first Test against the West Indies.
As captain, Clarke noted that he was always trying to find some way of improving his game.
“If I feel like I’m hitting them all right in the nets, or in the game, I don’t want to bat in the nets, [but] I still go and train in my bowling and fielding. That’s the Australian way and I’d like to see that continue,” he said.