Clarke tells fringe players scoring centuries only way into national team

Sydney: Australia captain Michael Clarke has said any batsman who wants to be a part of the national team has to prove his mettle by scoring centuries.

On the eve of the domestic season, the Australian Test captain wants to see those on the fringes of the national side place more pressure on the incumbents. “If you’re going to play for Australia, you’ve got to put numbers on the board. If you get a start you’ve got to go on and make a big score. I’d love to see some double hundreds. If you want to put your hand up for selection, that’s the way to do it,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Clarke, as saying.

Australian selectors have given opportunities to players such as George Bailey, Peter Forrest and Usman Khawaja in the past 12 months but there is still no clear candidate to take over should any of the top six batsmen flop.

With Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey reaching 38, Australia is looking urgently to improve its batting stocks ahead of bumper series against South Africa and India leading up to the Ashes next year.