It’s time for Clarke to do some explaining

2014-02-25 00:00

A WEEK can be a lifetime in sport.

Seven days ago, it was Graeme Smith facing a barrage of questions after his team received an ugly beating in the first Test against Australia at Centurion.

Now, the shoe is on Australian captain Michael Clarke’s foot.

Not only must he answer questions on his team’s capitulation in Port Elizabeth, but he must also explain his own lack of runs.

As victorious captain in the recent Ashes series, Clarke’s place in the team is certainly not in jeopardy, and his leadership and experience are immensely valuable.

After the second Test, Clarke was expecting to reply to concerns over his own form.

“So that’s starting?” Clarke asked when questioned by the Australian media.

“Of course, I want to score a hundred every time I bat,” he said.

Clarke praised the Proteas bowlers, refusing to make any excuses for his side’s poor showing.

“It was an excellent performance. We were nowhere near our best and I think South Africa were at their best,” the Australian captain said.

It has now been 11 innings since Clarke scored more than 25 in a Test innings. His last score of over 25 came against England at the beginning of December, when he hit 148 in Adelaide.

Since then, he has recorded 161 runs at an average of 17,89 — his highest score in that period a mere 24.

Against South Africa in this tour he has managed to score just 60 runs in four innings.

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