Michael Clarke believes Australia would be “stupid” to focus all their attention on Muttiah Muralitharan in the Test series and ignore several other potential match-winners in the Sri Lanka squad. However, Clarke said Australia would be trying to stop Muralitharan breaking Shane Warne’s Test wicket record during the two matches.
“Now Warney’s gone, Murali’s the No. 1 spinner in international cricket,” Clarke said in an interview with his team-mate Andrew Symonds in the Sunday Mail. “I look forward to taking him on, but I think we’re all going to have to be on our game.
“With all the hype around Murali and his record, we’d be stupid to let two threatening players like (Lasith) Malinga and Dilhara (Fernando) get under our guard. They’ve both got some toe and the conditions in Brisbane will help their quicks.”
Australia have not played a Test since January, when they secured a 5-0 Ashes cleansweep and farewelled Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer. Clarke played all five Ashes Tests and averaged 77.80 despite originally being left out of the squad for the first Test.
Although Clarke is being touted as Australia’s next captain he is focusing squarely on a solid home summer in Tests, where he expects to bat at No. 5 with Michael Hussey to stay at No. 4. “It’s a really important series for me, only five Tests ago I wasn’t even in the starting line-up,” Clarke said.
Langer’s retirement means Australia will have a new face in the dressing-rooms this season with Phil Jaques set to add to his two Test caps. Clarke has played plenty of cricket with Jaques for New South Wales and describes him as “intense” and “very focused”.
“The greatest asset for Jaquesy is that no international team has seen him, so that will allow him to play his own game,” Clarke said. “He’s very unorthodox, but once he finds his rhythm he can make big hundreds.”
Source:Cricket NewsMore on:Australia, Michael Clarke, Muttiah Muralitharan, shane warne, Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka in Austarlia 2007
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