Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia skipper Michael Clarke has vowed to continue being an aggressive captain after his side were recently whitewashed 2-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
Clarke’s captaincy came under intense scrutiny following the 2-0 loss, but he recently received some heavy duty support from a plethora of former captains, which included his predecessor, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh and the legendary Allan Border.
“I think we learned a lot about the way we went about it in the UAE, there’s no doubt about that,” Clarke said. “I read a lot of the stuff that was written about my captaincy and my style of captaincy in those conditions, and our style of play with the bat in those conditions and yeah I think we can certainly learn from what past players are saying and other teams are doing.
“You’d be silly to not take notice of how Pakistan batted. I said after the first Test the way Younis Khan played is a really good learning curve for our batters. They play a different style of cricket to us, so I’m not saying we have to play exactly like them, but I think we’d be silly not to learn from people who do it on a regular basis in those conditions.
“We’ve got these few days at home to work out areas of our game to improve, then we go into camp and start playing some more cricket together. It doesn’t guarantee success, but the fortunate thing is we’re playing in conditions we’re accustomed to, so that makes it more comfortable but we still have to be at our best to beat South Africa, to beat India, to win the tri-series and then go through a World Cup.”
Clarke also defended his decision of telling Steven Smith not to talk to Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali while both teams were on the pitch during the Test series.
He went on to explain that friendships with opposition players should be left off the field.
“There’s a time and place for it,” Clarke said. “Especially the position we were in the game, we were trying to take wickets. On the field we were focused and dedicated to having success, off the field I love when guys are catching up for a coffee, beer, whatever it is.
“I hope opposition teams respect that once we walk out onto the field we’re going to play a tough brand of cricket, that’s our style and that’s how we play our best, and that’s the Australian way I think, that’s our culture. But our team is also a big believer that win, lose or draw we’ll walk into the opposition change room, congratulate them and have a beer with them after a Test series or match.”