Clarke confident English spin will not deter Oz pace battery
Sydney: Australian captain Michael Clarke is confident that any attempt by England to prepare spinning wickets and doctor pitches during the Ashes will be blown away by his imposing pace battery despite his team`s troubled Indian tour.
Over the past six months, England has won 2-1 in India with spinners Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar while Australia was flogged 4-0 with the only spinner in the Ashes squad, Nathan Lyon, dropped during the disappointing India series.
However, Clarke believes that the his potent pace attackers will be comfortable in the English conditions even if the hosts attempts to manufacture the pitches to their favour for the five Test series, beginning in early July, adding that the weather conditions will play a bigger part even more than the pitch conditions.
According to the Australian skipper, wickets in England become good for batting if it is a sunny day, and during overcast days, there is a lot of swing and some seam in England regardless of the dryness of the wicket.
Clarke further said that his team has a formidable group of fast bowlers like Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Ryan Harris and uncapped bowling all-rounder James Faulkner, adding that they should all be completely fit for the Ashes.
However, Clarke, widely touted as the country`s only quality performer with the bat, admitted that the quality of Australia`s quicks contrasts sharply with a modest batting line-up, adding that as batsmen, they have a huge responsibility and a big job to make sure that are making big scores.
On the subject of his fitness, Clarke said that he is confident that his degenerative back problem will pose no bigger problem in this year of constant cricket, which includes the Ashes and the ICC Champions Trophy, than what it had been throughout his career, adding that he has managed to play 90-odd Test matches and only miss one.
Meanwhile, Clarke said that he believes that his former deputy Shane Watson is still Australia`s best all-rounder and is pleased at his return to bowling
Watson took a brief break from bowling so he could focus on his batting, but decided to pick up the ball again during the current India n Premier League tournament.