Don’t expect too much of us – Clarke
Michael Clarke says Australia cannot keep expecting series whitewashes after the retirement of several of the side’s biggest stars. Clarke believes that with the changeover brought by the departures of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn it is unrealistic to think Australia will dominate world cricket as they have for the past decade.
“I think the Australian public has taken the Australian cricket team’s form for granted because we have had so many great players and they have performed so good for 10-15 years,” Clarke told the Herald Sun. “I think it is unrealistic now and I think that has shown recently.
“We didn’t win the Twenty20 World Cup. We only won 4-2 in the Indian one-day series and that was a tough series. I hope we win every game we play, but the reality is it can’t happen.”
Last summer Australia triumphed 5-0 in the Ashes and they have not been beaten in a World Cup match since 1999. However, Clarke is expecting a harder assignment this season for the two Tests against Sri Lanka and the four-Test series with India.
“We have two very strong teams coming here and we have to give credit to other sides in the world who are playing very good cricket,” Clarke said. “I believe it’s going to be very different this summer to past summers. It’s going to be very tough.”
His team-mate Stuart Clark has already predicted 2-0 and 4-0 Test series wins for Australia this season, however Clark also conceded that Australia’s attack could be “a tad vulnerable” without Warne and McGrath. Clark will be expected to act like a veteran despite having played only nine Tests, as the less experienced Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait and Ben Hilfenhaus try to establish themselves.
“The public will be very critical and make pretty quick judgments,” Clark said in the Sydney Morning Herald. “There’ll be a lot of eyes on us in this series. We can’t worry about that. It might take a little bit of time, but we’re confident we’ll be fine. We have to be ourselves; come up with our own ways of doing things.”