Clarke is looking to get in top form for the South Africa series by playing more domestic cricket
With the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) to take place just after the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20, Australian captain Michael Clarke has called on his team-mates to ensure that they do not injure themselves during the tournament.
Clarke is also making sure that the CLT20 will not have any major effect on the Australian team’s preparation for the upcoming home series against South Africa in November.
Since Clarke is not required to play in either the World Twenty20 or CLT20, the Australian captain has decided to start his preparations early by leading the New South Wales team in the domestic season, which has started earlier than usual due to the CLT20.
Clarke is concerned that his players will have less time to prepare for the South Africa series by playing in the CLT20, especially after what happened in 2010, when batsman Michael Hussey and pace bowler bowler Doug Bollinger arrived in India from the CLT20 with only three days to spare before the start of the Test series.
Having seen what happened in 2010 as Ricky Ponting’s vice captain, Clarke has already taken the necessary precautions by talking to the national team’s coaching staff and the team performance manager Pat Howard, and asking them to ensure that Brad Haddin, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Ben Hilfenhaus, David Warner and Hussey can all return to Australia ready for the challenge of facing the number one Test side in the world.
“I think we can certainly learn from that, that’s for sure, and I think we are, Pat Howard’s been exceptional in regards to our planning, he’s made no bones about prioritising Test cricket, he wants us to have success in Test cricket, he wants us to be the No. 1 Test team in the world. We’ve got to prepare well and the preparation starts as soon as the boys get back from the T20 World Cup. The advantage is that all countries are affected the same way, it’s not just the Australian players, we play against South Africa in November and there’s a lot of their players involved as well. It’s fair for everybody. It’s important that everybody who’s there for Champions League plays well there, has some success, but in the back of their mind thinking about the Test series against South Africa,” Clarke said.
“The young bowlers over there will be monitored, we’ll have Ali de Winter over there working on their bowling workloads, and bowling through that period with a red ball. I wish the boys all the best over there, hopefully they come back full of confidence and ready to go for that first Test,” Clarke added.
De Winter will be key to Australia’s preparations since he will be working on developing the pace bowlers, who have let the team down in the past, for the upcoming series.
Clarke stated that he was excited to be leading New South Wales for the first time in his career and that playing more domestic cricket before the start of the South Africa series would make it more likely for him to prosper against the ruthless South African bowling attack.
“It’s an advantage for me to get back into some red ball cricket, that was a reason for me retiring from international T20 cricket a couple of years ago, to allow me to work hard on my one-day game and my Test game, and there’s no better preparation than to get back and play for NSW. I think it’s great for first-class teams to have their international players back playing. I think the game needs it, I think the international players need to get back to play with their state or play for their grade club, I think it’s really important for the game. I remember fondly having the chance to play with Steve Waugh when he captained Australia and what the feeling was like when he was around training. It gives you that little extra boost, I wanted to spend time in the middle with him, I wanted to score some runs with him, I wanted to show him I could play,” Clarke said.