Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has delivered a frank assessment of the Australian Cricket Team, expressing his concerns over selectors’ decisions and the team’s preparation ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. His remarks come in the wake of Australia’s second consecutive loss in the World Cup, a 134-run defeat to South Africa, marked by a disastrous collapse of 6-43.
Mihcael Clarke criticized the decision to drop Alex Carey, suggesting that it seemed like Carey was being held responsible for Australia’s loss to India in the World Cup opener.
He said, “I don’t think selections were right. I’m unsure how you can take Alex Carey to India in the World Cup squad, give him one game and then drop him. No disrespect [to] Josh Inglis, I don’t know him at all and I’ve heard from a lot of people that he’s very talented and there’s something about him, but unfortunately last night he didn’t have a great night with the gloves.”
Clarke also expressed concern about the team’s fielding performance, calling it “terrible” and questioning captain Pat Cummins’ tactics.
He added, “I fought harder than anyone for Pat Cummins to be Australian captain and I still stand here and say I think he’s the right man for the job but tactically last night I think he got it wrong again. He won the toss and bowled, I think he ball chased and I don’t think he was aggressive enough. I don’t think he looked to take wickets. The easiest way to slow scoring is to take wickets yet we continue in Twenty20 cricket and one-day cricket, try to prevent runs.”
Michael Clarke emphasized the importance of taking wickets in one-day cricket, particularly in the sub-continent, to control the run rate. He voiced his concerns about Australia’s sub-par preparation for the World Cup, pointing out that the team had made several mistakes leading up to the tournament.
Despite the team’s struggles, Clarke acknowledged South Africa’s smart game plan and execution, praising their performance. Michael Clarke also expressed concern about the upcoming matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, highlighting the challenges posed by teams in sub-continental conditions. He cautioned that if Australia continued to perform poorly, they might face difficulty in qualifying for the next stages of the World Cup.
“In conclusion, Clarke suggested that the conversation about Australian cricket could resemble the discussions about the Wallabies (the Australian rugby union team) if the team’s performance did not improve.”
Australia will now face Sri Lanka on 16th October at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow. Both teams will look forward to getting their first win of the tournament. Sri Lanka lost their first two matches against South Africa and Pakistan respectively, and Australia lost their first two games against India and South Africa.