The Ashes: Michael Clarke wants better batting after Durham loss

Clarke, who made a superb 187 in the drawn third Test at Old Trafford, included himself in the criticism after managing just 27 runs in total at Chester-le-Street.

Updated: August 13, 2013 08:58 IST
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Chester-Le-Street: Australia captain Michael Clarke said his batsmen, including himself, had to get more runs if they were to turn the Ashes tide on home soil later this year.

Current hosts England, who'd already retained the Ashes, took an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series with a dramatic 74-run win in the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street on Monday.

Australia, set 299 for victory, were well-placed at 120 for one at tea on the fourth day after openers Chris Rogers (49) and David Warner (71) had shared a stand of 109.

That made their subsequent collapse to 224 all out all the more painful, with England paceman Stuart Broad turning things around with six wickets for 50 runs on his way to a Test-best match haul of 11 for 121. (Day 4 as it happened)

"I want our batters to get more runs. I'd like our batting to be stronger," Clarke said.

"Our bowlers are doing a fantastic job -- I don't think we are making enough runs it's as simple as that."

Clarke, who made a superb 187 in the drawn third Test at Old Trafford, included himself in the criticism after managing just 27 runs in total at Chester-le-Street.

"I am part of the batting unit -- I am not different to any other batter in that order -- my job is first and foremost to score runs and I only made 27 in this Test and that's unacceptable," said Clarke, clean bowled on Monday by a brilliant Broad delivery that clipped the top of off stump. (Oz media slam 'shameful' batting collapse)

Australia have now gone eight Tests without a win, a sequence they will try to end in the final match of this series at The Oval in south London starting on August 21.

One consolation for Clarke's men is that they won't have long to wait for a chance to prize the urn away from England, with the next Ashes campaign starting in Australia in November.

But whether that's enough time for them to sort out their batting problems remains to be seen, with Monday providing the latest recent example of Australia losing a cluster of top-order wickets in quick succession.

"We've got a couple of months I guess -- all I can ask from the players is that they try and get better every day," Clarke said.

"We are working exceptionally hard, that is all we can keep doing

"Chasing 300 in the last innings of a Test match is always going to be difficult there is no doubt about that -- I don't think today was about forgetting how to win, I just think a good bowler got his back up and got momentum around with it and we couldn't stop him. (Broad smiles grace Britain's front-pages)

"I can't fault the belief in the guys or their will to try and win -- everybody's attitude is brilliant.

"It's extremely disappointing. I guess I know now what it feels like to lose an Ashes series as a captain."

But Clarke insisted now was not the time for wholesale changes.

"I think we are picking the best players: everyone says 'rebuild, rebuild rebuild, but you need guys in first-class cricket making runs to take someone's slot. We have to continue to show faith in these guys -- it takes time playing against good opposition.

"I think the selectors are doing the best they can to pick the best sides."

And Clarke was adamant Australia would have plenty to play for at The Oval.

"The fifth Test is as important as the first four have been. We have to play some good cricket and I think we have shown in patches we can do that.

"We have got the potential and the talent -- if we play that brand of cricket we have shown glimpses of I am confident we can beat any team in the world."

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