Oz batting collapse in Windies series highlights Clarke’s significance to squad

Melbourne: Australia`s poor batting in the West Indies tour has highlighted that the presence of skipper Michael Clarke is crucial in the team`s middle order.

Australia has struggled to put up a formidable score on the low and slow pitches at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent, and relied on a spectacular collapse by the West Indies to win the opening match by 64 runs before losing a rain-marred second match by five wickets.

Veteran batsman Michael Hussey admitted that the team missed Clarke`s skill and experience in their batting line-up.

"He`s been a class player for us over a long period of time and, particularly in the last six months, he`s performed outstandingly well. He`s definitely missed. He plays the conditions and situations very, very well,” The Herald Sun quoted Clarke, as saying.

"From a batting point of view, in these conditions, if we can turn those 20s into 40s, then it can make a big difference. That`s an extra 15-20 runs which is quite a lot when you`re playing in these conditions. Certainly that`s one thing we`ve got to try and get better at,” he added.

Meanwhile, Australia has dropped Peter Forrest dropped for the third ODI to make way for spinner Nathan Lyon.

Australian team: Shane Watson (capt), David Warner, Matthew Wade, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, George Bailey, Dan Christian, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty.