Clarke defends his slow scoring in first ODI against England

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 16:48 PM IST

Sydney: Australia stand-in captain Michael Clarke has defended his relatively slow scoring in a support role to century-maker Shane Watson in his side’s win over England at the MCG.

Clarke, who added a vital 103 for the second wicket with Watson in Australia’s 4-297 off 49.1 overs, was booed by sections of the crowd for his lack of big hits.

The skipper scored 36 off 57 balls, while Watson was striking boundaries and sixes at the other end.

“What’s important for me as the captain of this team right now is to do whatever it takes to help Australia win every game of cricket we play,” Clarke told reporters in Hobart on Thursday ahead of Friday’s second ODI at Bellerive Oval.

“I thought throughout that period when I was batting with Watto that it was important to get a partnership. When I first walked out to bat, the ball was reverse-swinging a little bit. It wasn’t the easiest of conditions to walk out and just smack it,” he said.

“Watto was playing an amazing knock and my role was to get up the other end and try not to lose wickets, try to build a partnership. We put on a hundred-run partnership, which helped us set up the game,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.

“If people want to see fours, sixes and wickets taken every ball, that’s not international cricket,” Clarke said.

ANI