Sydney: Australian captain Michael Clarke’s immense confidence in his young players, compounded with a winning mentality is breeding success, and it was clearly evident in their grinding Test win against the West Indies at Barbados.
Australia came back from a seemingly hopeless position at Kensington Oval, and won the match by three wickets on the final day.
By doing so Clarke’s men not only landed a potentially severe blow on the Windies’ morale, but also became the first Australian team in the game’s 135-year history to win a Test after declaring behind on the first innings.
Few eyebrows were raised when Clarke claimed after day three during the Barbados Test match that his team could still win, but the naysayers discounted the vast self-belief within the Australian dressing room, which seems to grow with every success.
Clarke had been in a similar situation few years back, as he reveals being cynical during the unforgettable Adelaide Test of the 2006-07 Ashes whitewash, when Shane Warne reassured him that Australia would win despite chasing an epic 551 in the first innings.
“I was trying to work out how. At best, surely we`d get a draw but he had no doubt in his mind. For me as a young player I thought ‘righto, that`s my attitude, I`m going to win’,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Clarke, as saying.
“A few years on and I`m in the change rooms telling the boys we`re going to win this Test match. Hopefully a few of them believed me the way I believed Warnie back then,” he added.
In another incident, Clarke’s decision in Sydney to give up chasing Bradman`s Test record armored a team-first philosophy, which was clearly evident when Ryan Harris and Nathan Lyon happily sacrificed their chance to achieve personal batting milestones as a result of Clarke`s declaration, the paper said.