Clarke blames horrible fielding for defeat

Updated: 12 February 2012 19:18 IST

Australia were not switched on, on Sunday. There were fumbles, there were missed direct-hits, there were poor throws, and India - who at times batted equally sluggishly - were let off the hook.

Adelaide:

Australia were not switched on, on Sunday. There were fumbles, there were missed direct-hits, there were poor throws, and India - who at times batted equally sluggishly - were let off the hook.

Michael Clarke, nursing a sore hamstring himself, called the fielding effort horrible and said that Australia will need to be much better if they are to win matches in the rest of the competition.

More than the others, there were three crucial moments where Australia slipped. Early on in MS Dhoni's innings, Ricky Ponting fumbled before hitting the stumps at the non-striker's end, allowing Dhoni ample time to make his ground. Then, with 29 to defend off 22 balls, Ravindra Jadeja was all but run out but for Ryan Harris's poor throw from point. In the next over Dhoni was dead again, only for Clarke to miss a direct hit from an arm's length.

"I think it's concentration more than anything," Clarke said. "If you look at myself, Ricky Ponting and also Dave Warner, we fumbled a few balls tonight, and we are better than that. You can't blame anyone else when you are not performing as well as you like. We just got to make sure we are concentrating, and we are ready for every ball. It [Adelaide Oval] is as nice a ground as anywhere in the world. It's a beautiful outfield, very flat. We have no excuses for our performance tonight. We just weren't good enough."

Clarke couldn't say if this lack in concentration could be put down to fatigue from a long season, but he said he was not queuing up to rest. "It's international cricket, another chance to play for Australia, and you want to perform every single time you do that," Clarke said. "Has it been a long summer? Well it has been a great summer for us so far. I can only talk about me personally: I feel like I am hitting the ball sweet, I feel I am training hard, and I am really keen to play every game at the moment.

"Like all the guys, no one wants to rest. It's just about managing the workloads, and making sure we are putting guys on the park that we think can help us win the game, [that ones that] give us the best chance of winning the game. If there is a time that we feel boys are a little tired, we would do that [rest players] as we have done with Michael Hussey. It's just about assessing the team."

Both of India's win against Australia this season have come in games where Matthew Wade has been pushed down the order. Clarke joked this was the last time it had happened. "I think Wadey can play in both areas," he said. "He is good against fast bowling and he is good at the top of the order, and he is good at the death and he has done that for Victoria. Just a bit of a change in the order. I thought we'd try something else tonight. Did it work? We did pretty well, we made 270, we could have made a few more runs. But that's the way it goes."

Clarke and Australia have a big day on Monday. Clarke will have his sore hamstring scanned, and they have to select the team for the next few games. "I'll probably have a scan tomorrow, and then we'll go from there. It's a little bit sore, I have just had some ice on it. Fingers crossed, hopefully everything is okay."

Topics : Cricket India Ricky Ponting Australia Ryan Harris Michael Clarke India in Australia, 2011-12
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