Aussies set on beating Proteas at home

2014-02-28 14:54

Australian test captain Michael Clarke did not mince his words: he wants to leave with a South African test series like all of his predecessors.

He said he knew it would not be easy but it had to be done.

“Our focus is beating this South African side, the number one team in their own back yard.

Every single player that takes the field for the Australian cricket team has my 100% support,” Clarke said.

His ballistic opener, David Warner, has been fined for making unsavoury remarks regarding South Africa’s ability to generate swing with the new ball.

Having gone underground for the best part of the preparation period ahead of Saturday’s third test, Clarke said his team-mates will always have his full backing.

He did add though he was displeased with Warner’s comments.

“We have been dealt with by the International Cricket Council and internally. Now it is about playing cricket.

Once we step onto that field, I will back my team-mates 100 percent. I support David and he is a tough bugger.

He will love the challenge that he will face when he walks in,” Clarke said.

“I heard about the number of South Africans who were disappointed in him. I think he assumes that he will cop a lot of stick but it won’t be different. He has copped it for most of his career but I have made it clear that I am disappointed by him.”

Clarke’s form through the series has not been something to write home about and his wicket falling at crucial intervals has led to collapses Australia have not been able to recover from. Back at the ground where he scored one of his best test innings in 2011 – that 151 before Australia collapsed rapidly to 47 all out – Clarke said he hoped he would be able to lead from the front.

“Anytime you are not leading from the front as captain, that is disappointing for me personally. My first job as captain is to make sure I’m scoring runs. When you are picked the Australian way, you pick the team, then pick the captain. I want to make sure I am scoring runs.”

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