| Michael Clarke |
Hyderabad: Michael Clarke is the best player of spin bowling in the present Australian batting line-up. “To be successful against spinners in the subcontinent, a batsman should focus on sticking to his plan instead of experimenting too much,” believes Clarke.
“Each individual plays spin differently. Throughout my career, I’ve had my share of success and failure against spin. To score runs in India, I’ve tried to make use of my experience in this part of the world.
“What matters is how you use the available facilities on offer and whether you stick to a particular plan. Importantly, you should have the courage to stick to the plan,” the Australia captain stressed on the eve of the second Test.
Expectedly, Clarke was all praise for all-rounder Moises Henriques, who impressed in his debut Test. “It’s exciting times for both Moises and Australia. We are on our way to have another all-rounder with enough talent. He has had a successful 14 months for New South Wales… It’s really nice to see him making a grand Test debut. But he’ll certainly be tested. India must be having plans in store for him,” Clarke pointed out.
Clarke, however, admitted that he missed the bowler in Shane Watson. “Watson is one of the best all-rounders. But he has made it clear that he only wants to bat now having returned from injury. I do respect his decision. From the team’s point of view, though, I would’ve love to see him bowl,” he said.
Incidentally, Watson, too, on Thursday, had said that he missed bowling in Chennai.
Speaking of Phil Hughes, who looked all at sea in both the innings at the Chepauk, Clarke is confident that the southpaw will pull up his socks very soon.
“Hughes is a top-order specialist. He was a tad unfortunate in the second innings, as the ball bounced off the rough.
“However, he’s working hard to tackle spin bowling and I’m confident he’ll sort his issues against spin very soon.”
Clarke, though, made it clear that he had no regrets in not playing two spinners in the first Test. However, whether the visitors will go in with two spinners or stick to just one will be finalised only after having a proper look at the wicket.
“Our pacers, led by James Pattinson, did a decent job in Chennai and they were the ones to take most of the wickets. Now as far as playing two spinners is concerned, we first need to have a good look at the wicket and assess the situation.
“We need to see if the wicket is any different than what it was yesterday (Thursday). As of now, the wicket, which was prepared quite early, does have some similarities with the one in Chennai,” Clarke explained.
Reiterating that the tour of India is one of his biggest challenges as captain, Clarke said that his team was gradually working its way to deliver against all odds no matter how alien conditions might be.
“Accepting challenges is part of international cricket. India at home are quite comfortable against most opponents. Similarly, we, Australians, too, have had a lot of success of late in Australia.
“Now what we need is to maintain this success overseas as well, something which isn’t too easy. However, I believe we’re slowly on our way up,” was how Clarke put it.