Aussie selectors draw flak for not playing Clark before

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Oz media on Saturday came down heavily on national selectors for so far ignoring paceman Stuart Clark, who helped his team make a turn around.

Updated: August 08, 2009 18:14 IST
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Australian media on Saturday came down heavily on national selectors for so far ignoring paceman Stuart Clark, who helped his team make a turn around in the Ashes series with his superb figures of 10-4-18-3 on the opening day of the fourth Test here.

The 33-year-old Clark, who was playing in his first Test since elbow surgery last December, rekindled Australia's hopes of defending their title in the five-match series which Ponting's men are trailing 0-1.

Australia bowled out England for 102 and took a 94-run lead with their 196 for four by stumps on Friday.

'The Daily Telegraph' said Clark was "inexplicably overlooked" by the selectors in the first three Test.

"Clark had been the invisible man of Australia's Ashes campaign, inexplicably overlooked for the first three Tests as Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle struggled and went for more than four runs an over," the paper said.

"He was back with a vengeance and created the suffocating pressure that Australia has been sadly lacking in England," it added.

The report in 'Sydney Morning Herald' was on similar sentiments as it also pointed out selectors' inexplicable resistance to Clark in the first three matches.

"The selectors' inexplicable resistance to Clark prior to Headingley could not have been more emphatically highlighted as a most serious error as England were unable to survive more than 33 overs," the SMH reported.

Noted cricket columnist Peter Roebuck praised Clark's achievements, describing him as pick of the Australian bowlers.

"Belatedly recalled and keeping an unerring length, the old trouper probed constantly, making the batsmen play, always asking questions. Clark looked his old self, denying the batsmen soft runs, squeezing them tight, drawing them into prods and taking outside edges," he wrote in the 'Herald Sun'.

ABC radio also felt Clark's return was overdue and it sharpened the Australian bowling attack, giving the visitor's a hope of levelling the series.

"In a stunning shift of momentum, triggered by Andrew Flintoff's withdrawal and Matt Prior's back spasm that delayed the toss, England had its worst day of the series," Maxwell said.

"If it can muster a 150-run lead, Australia should be levelling the series on Monday," he said.

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