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Australia hope for turnaround in ODIs

Last updated on: October 19, 2010 20:19 IST

Australia hope for turnaround in ODIs

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Harish Kotian Visakhapatnam

Australia's acting skipper Michael Clarke may have failed miserably in the just-concluded Test series against India, but is confident of turning things around in the One-Day Internationals.

Clarke, who aggregated just 35 in four innings in the Test series, which Australia lost 0-2, is now hoping to lead from the front and earn his team victory in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam, on Wednesday.

"I think it is a great part of the game, making runs and still want to contribute to the team's success. That means, bowling for me is to help to contribute. In this game you do have ups and downs. You try to help for the team's success.

"In these two one-day games, I will try to score runs and try my best. If I get to bowl, try to take wickets. While fielding, try to take catches and make run-outs. Hopefully, I'll try to contribute to win the series," Clarke said on the eve of the second match.


Image: Australia's captain Michael Clarke throws a ball at a cricket practice session in Vishakhapatnam
Photographs: Reuters
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'I deserve that criticism'

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Just like India, Australia also have a weakened side for the three-match series, without top players like Ricky Ponting, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell blasted Clarke after the Test series loss and the stand-in skipper is hoping to bounce back with a good showing in the two ODIs.

"Everybody is entitled to their opinion. No doubt about my poor performance in Test cricket. I deserve that criticism. I'm very disappointed about that. I can't change that. It is certainly not the way I train. I have been training hard as I can.

"I am really excited about the two one day games. It is always that people in public and people in media having their own opinion, whether I am playing okay or whether I'm vice-captain of the Australian team. It is up to me to score runs and help my team to win the two one-day games," he said.


Image: Australia's Tim Paine throws a ball at a cricket practice session in Vishakhapatnam

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Doug Bollinger is a doubtful starter

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Fast bowler Doug Bollinger is a doubtful starter, down with the abdominal strain he suffered during the Tests. And Australia do not want to risk him ahead of the all-important Ashes.

"He is going well. He has not starting bowling. Today is an important day. We will see how he pulls up tomorrow. He is certainly ready every day. The physio is very happy with his improvement but we need to be certain if he can bowl 10 overs for us come tomorrow. Otherwise, it's not worth risking him," said Clarke.

The right-hander, who himself opted out of the Indian Premier League, believes the experience of playing in the Twenty20 tournament could prove useful to few of his team-mates.

"We are lucky to have IPL with lot of players playing here. I certainly feel more comfortable coming to India. I still remember my first tour. I think it is part of international cricket. You travel in different conditions, you learn about different cultures. Hopefully, it will be no different this time."


Image: Australia's Doug Bollinger prepares to bowl at a cricket practice session in Vishakhapatnam

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'We need to work out the best eleven players'

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Clarke also admitted his love for India: "I have always felt homesick wherever I go. But I enjoy coming to India. India is a wonderful place to come and play cricket. We enjoyed, apart from not getting the result in the Test series.

"I think all the guys have not spent some time in India. They are part of the one-day team. They have had a really good time."

Big-hitting David Warner may have compared his role to Adam Gilchrist, but the young left-hander is still not sure of a place in the ODI side.

"Warner is a very exciting player. He has lot of success in Twenty20 cricket in India. It is great to see him back in the one-day squad. Again, I am not sure who will play tomorrow. We need to work out the best eleven players after the conditions we face with. We will know tomorrow once we finish our training," said Clarke.


Image: Australia's Cameron White prepares to play a shot at a cricket practice session in Vishakhapatnam

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Australia have not lost an ODI series in India since 1986-87

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The Aussie skipper also feels that dew might come into the equation in the second half of the match.

"It is important to see tonight whether there is dew on the ground. The stadium is fantastic. Everybody is excited. It is the first day-night game and we are excited. The dew factor will certainly play a part in certain places around India. I think we will see the ground tonight and see the conditions and thereafter work out for tomorrow's match," he said.

Australia have not lost in a bilateral ODI series in India since 1986-87 and Clarke is confident that his young team can preserve the record.

"It is a huge one-day series. A lot of young guys have not played too much cricket in these conditions. We know it is going to be tough cricket. India also have a young squad as well. So we have to bowl our best and get our batting and bowling in order before the big game tomorrow," he added.


Image: Australia's Tim Paine throws a ball at a cricket practice session in Vishakhapatnam

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