I tried to be as aggressive: Clarke

  • 02/19/2019

Michael Clarke described his dismissal in the fourth Ashes Test as a case of living by the sword and dying by the sword.


Clarke was talking about his innings of 10, but the cliche may potentially apply to the captain’s Test career.

The 34-year-old was the only Australian batsman to make it to double figures at Trent Bridge on Thursday, apart from Mitchell Johnson (13).

However, he was arguably the most culpable given he fell to one of Stuart Broad’s few loose balls.

Clarke looked tentative at Edgbaston, where he admitted his form left Australia playing with 10 men.

This time around, Clarke opted for aggression at 5-29.

He flung the bat at a wide delivery, with Alastair Cook gleefully accepting a thick edge at first slip.

“I watched guys around me get out trying to defend and I thought, like I’ve always said, the better the bowling the more aggressive you’ve got to be,” Clarke said.

“I was thinking ‘if he pitches it up I’m going to hit it as far as I can’.

“You live by the sword, you die by the sword.”

Clarke was tetchy when asked about the shot for a second time.

“If you had watched today’s batting you would have seen guys getting out blocking all around me,” he said.

“A lot of guys were just trying to defend.

“That’s why I tried to be as aggressive as I possibly could.”

As predicted by close friend Shane Warne earlier this week, Clarke shifted down the order to No.5 following Shaun Marsh’s recall.

Ricky Ponting, Clarke’s predecessor as skipper, was critical of the move.

“Shaun has always batted in front of me in the Test line-up,” Clarke said.

“That’s what we feel is best for the team.”

Clarke vowed earlier this week he would not be retiring after the five-Test series.

The reality is the calls for him to do so will grow louder with every failure.

In Clarke’s past 29 Test innings, he has reached 25 just six times and scored two hundreds.

The 34-year-old’s average this series is 17.33.

Warne didn’t single out Clarke, but suggested the side’s batsmen needed to improve their technique in English conditions.

“Australia could have been more defensive and have better technique with some of the deliveries,” Warne said on Sky Sports.

“A couple of tailenders have shown them how to do it.

“They haven’t got too many runs, but at least they’ve got behind the ball.”


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