Michael Clarke vows to give it ‘red-hot crack’ in bid to rekindle Ashes

Australia captain bristles at suggestion Test career could be drawing to a close

Michael Clarke: Australia captain under fire for poor form in Ashes. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters

Michael Clarke: Australia captain under fire for poor form in Ashes. Photograph: Philip Brown/Reuters

 

Australia captain Michael Clarke is determined to prove the doubters wrong and lead his country back into contention for the Ashes when the fourth Test begins this morning.

Clarke’s poor form has contributed to Australia falling 2-1 behind in the five-match series but he bristles at suggestions that his Test career could be drawing to a close.

“I’ve had [criticism] throughout stages of my career, I’ve had it over the last couple of Test matches so no different for me, my preparation has been exactly the same,” the 34-year-old said.

Good performance

Australia won the second Test convincingly at Lord’s but lost heavily in Cardiff and Edgbaston with Clarke rarely looking comfortable, despite a Test average of almost 50.

He says he is working overtime to try to regain his form.

“Getting out of bed to get better hasn’t become tougher at all,” Clarke said. “I think when that becomes too hard it’s time to walk away, no doubt about it.

“If I didn’t have the love I have for the game, didn’t have the will to be the best I can possibly be and help this team have success, I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”

Clarke was made Australia’s permanent captain in 2011 and steered his side to a 5-0 Ashes whitewash against England in the 2013-14 series on home soil. He acknowledges, however, that this could be his last chance to win an away series in England.

“I think there’s no doubt this is my last opportunity to win an Ashes series in England, for me personally and for a number of the guys,” he said.

“There’s no doubt every single one of these players in the changing room would love to win this Test match, would love to go on and win at The Oval, win the Ashes in England.

“So it’s not going to be from lack of desire, lack of preparation, lack of hard work; if you get beaten, you get beaten, but I’ll guarantee we’re going to have a red-hot crack at it.”

Mark Wood will return for England after getting through their final training session unscathed.

The fast bowler replaces the side-strain victim Jimmy Anderson in Alastair Cook’s final XI as they hunt the win that would see the Ashes regained.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.