Michael Clarke talks brutally about own poor form and his place in Australian team
Australia captain Michael Clarke addressed concerns over his own form in characteristic brutal terms, with clamours for his head getting increasing momentum in the Australian press.
"I think it's always going to be hard to beat any opposition when they've got 11 and we've only 10,” Clarke said, according to CricketAustralia.
"At the moment that's how it feels. With my performances so far I certainly haven't led from the front like I'd like to do as captain. I've always made that very clear, that's a big part of my role as leader of this team that I'm scoring plenty of runs and leading by example.”
Clarke has less runs than Gary Ballance who lost his place in the England team after the second Test loss for under-performing, and has a lower Ashes 2015 batting average (15.7) than non-specialist batsmen Mitchell Johnson (24.6), Mitchell Starc (24.5) and Josh Hazlewood (20.5).
Clarke struggled to make a total of 13 runs over two innings in the Edgbaston Test and dropped a straightforward slips catch, with the normally confident captain finding newer ways to get out with every passing innings.
Continuing hard work to regain form: Clarke
“I am 100 per cent confident,” Clarke replied to pointed questions about whether he thought he was still worth his place in the best Australian XI.
“My self-belief is still there, and that’s because I continue to work as hard as I have throughout my career. For me to have success, it’s always been about preparation and working hard. While I keep doing the preparation I’m doing, I believe I can have success out in the middle.”
It is thought that Clarke will come at No.5 in the Trent Bridge Test, with Shaun Marsh brought in to replace Adam Voges – the No.5, who with a batting average of 14.6, has been in even poorer form than Clarke himself.
Clarke said, “Statistically I have performed a lot better at No. 5 than No. 4. If the team needs me to bat at five I will bat at five."