Clarke has no qualms about Test XI
Michael Clarke has defended national selectors’ decision to dump allrounder Mitch Marsh for the fourth Ashes Test.
Clarke has clashed publicly with selectors in the past year, most notably when he wanted to play for Western Suburbs to prove his fitness last summer.
The skipper adopted a more diplomatic tone when quizzed about Marsh’s omission on Thursday.
It was the first time in almost 18 months that Australia have gone into a Test without an allrounder.
Shaun Marsh was recalled for the clash, with selectors wanting to beef up a batting order that battled at Edgbaston.
Instead Shaun Marsh was out for a duck, while his brother’s overs were dearly missed after Australia were rolled for a woeful 60.
Mitchell Johnson was unsurprisingly less effective and explosive, while Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc struggled for control.
David Warner faced two balls, but bowled 18.
“Their reasons for the eleven players they gave me and that we spoke about were very good,” Clarke said.
“We’ve seen at Edgbaston, Mitch Marsh didn’t bowl too many overs.
“We knew this wicket was going to have enough in it, the plan was to bowl first.
“Knowing that if we didn’t win the toss it was going to be hard to bat, the selectors wanted that extra batting as well to make as many runs as we could.”
Coach Darren Lehmann and chairman of selectors Rod Marsh have not shied away from making the tough calls during the five-Test series.
Shane Watson was dumped after the first Test, potentially ending his 59-Test career.
Peter Nevill was retained for the third Test, with Brad Haddin left on the sidelines after missing the Lord’s clash to spend time in hospital with his daughter.
“The selectors pick the team and I respect what they do. We’ve got some very good selectors,” Clarke said.
“The selectors have been fantastic all series, they’ve been very open and honest with me.
“They’ve kept the faith with certain players.”
Clarke noted the issue in Nottingham was his side’s miserable performance.
“It doesn’t matter what XI you pick, you’ve got to play as well as you possibly can and we didn’t do that today,” he said.