May go with four-pronged pace attack: Michael Clarke
Perth: Australia captain Michael Clarke exuded confidence on his pace battery and said whether there is a four-prong pace attack or not, they are good enough to take the wickets in the third cricket Test against India starting on Friday.
Australia would seek a replacement of James Pattinson in either Ryan Harris or Mitchell Starc, and Clarke believed both of them would be good enough to do the job.
"He (Harris) is as good a fast bowler as I have seen throughout my career. He has had a lot of success. Our attack is very confident. Be it three or four fast bowlers, they can all do really well," he said.
"It`s a kind of wicket where the new ball would play a very important part in this Test. The Day One would really suit fast bowling."
Clarke gave a hint that he might think of opting to bowl first if the wicket retained that kind of grass and hardness as it was a couple of days ago.
"I would think about it. I find it hard to bowl first and be without any spinner in my team. No matter what the conditions are like. But you also want to find the best way to win a game. I need to make two very smart decisions tomorrow morning," he said.
Fresh from his triple century in Sydney, Clarke said he would like to carry his good form into the match tomorrow.
"I have never been a consistent performer throughout my career. I would certainly like to improve it...As of now, I am 0 not out when I go out to bat," said Clarke, who hit an unbeaten 329 to ensure an innings and 68 runs win over the Indians in the second Test at the SCG.
"I could get a pair and talking about my place in the team as I was doing a couple of weeks` ago. It`s gone, these are completely different conditions, completely new game.”
"I have never been a big believer in in-form and out-form thing. There are days when you have your days off and days when you don`t," he added.
Clarke said he actually found the conditions to bat at Perth perfectly suited to his game.
"I prefer pace. Most of my success in Australia have been in Gabba and Perth. I like the ball to come on to the bat. I don`t have to try to hit the ball too hard, you can use the pace to your advantage. Here the ball bounces a lot more so you can also hit spin through the line.”
"But the wicket like this one here, it`s really hard to start your innings. You could easily nick one, there would be edges off the bat. But once you get in, such hard and bouncy pitches are as good to bat as any one in the world," he added.
One of the issues with the Australian team has been the form of their top three batsmen but Clarke was confident they would come good in the WACA Test.
"In Test cricket, Davy (Warner), Shaun (Marsh) and Ed (Cowan) have batted beautifully. They all have had success. You always feel the pressure as an Australian player – from public, media and there`s always someone trying to take your spot given how successful is our first class structure," he said.
The players of the two sides, notably Brad Haddin and Zaheer Khan, have being involved in war of words over the last few days but Clarke wasn`t willing to get involved into it.
"It`s not me to talk about the opposition. I need to focus on my team, how to take it forward, how to make it keep winning. From my experience, India have always proved a very strong opponent throughout my career and they would be even tougher in this game," he said.
"The big part of sport is that every player has a right to be what they are as people. None of them (Haddin or Zaheer) have really overstepped the line. They are very good players, very respected international players and they understand their line (of limit).”
"It`s a great game to show yourself as a person and as a character. If it makes Zaheer play to his best and Haddin to do his best, and they don`t overstep, its` great for the game."
Clarke would like to use the same bat he played with and got a triple century in Sydney. He also disclosed his bat would have a sticker of the charity he has been promoting in recent years.
"I would have the sticker of life education on my bat. I have been ambassador of it for a long time now. It`s a nice chance to help promote a certain charity. They have been wonderful and it`s the least I can do," he said.