Image courtesy of: The Guardian
Clarke and Cook have clashing ideologies when it comes to giving their team the upper hand
Australia captain Michael Clarke has given his assurances that none of the pitches in the country will be doctored to give the national team an advantage when England travel to the land down under for the second leg of the Ashes series in November.
Having come off a 3-0 thrashing in the first leg of the Ashes series, Clarke stated that he would rather “see good even wickets” and a “good contest between bat and ball” instead of trying to doctor the pitches to help Australia regain the coveted urn.
“I think we’ve had enough success in Australia how the wickets are, so I don’t see any reason to doctor them,” Clarke said. “I want to see good even wickets, a good contest between bat and ball. It’s how I think you play your best cricket, that’s how the people watching get to see some great cricket, so I’m confident if the wickets are how Australian wickets are and we play our best cricket, we’ll have success.
“In my time as an Australian player I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Australian wicket change too much. Generally you know what you’re going to get, so I don’t see any reason why they will change that. You want a good, even battle between bat and ball and spin will definitely play a part as the wickets deteriorate in Australia, because it’s nice and hot. To me that’s how you see some great cricket.
“At the end of the day that’s a part of international cricket; you tour around the world and play in different conditions. You need to find a way to adapt. Unfortunately for us now in India and in the UK we haven’t been able to have success so we’ve got to keep working hard.”
However, while Clarke may want an even contest between bat and ball, his English counterpart Alastair Cook revealed that he was in favour of giving his team the upper hand and would not smite Clarke for doing the same.
“Of course home advantage gives you that choice to try as much as you can to push things in your favour,” he said. “That’s why its Test cricket, that’s why it’s home advantage and one of the beauties of Test cricket is you have to test yourself in different conditions.
“So when we get to Australia it’ll be similar I imagine to 2010-11, those pitches which they will try to have suit them as well, but we’ve got some good memories of what happened there last time, and a lot of the similar players are there as well.”
Speaking about the fifth and final Test at The Oval, Cook stated that a lot of credit had to be given to Australia for the match coming down to the wire and being so intense.
“Australia should be credited a little bit for the way they’ve set the game up,” Cook said. “But at the beginning of the day we knew we had to make it as difficult as we could for Australia to push home what they were trying to do. We knew they were going to push for the win, and the harder we made it the easier it would’ve been for us to win, and that was proven.”