Clarke wants his team to focus on game

Saturday, 20 August 2011 00:26 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

AAP: Australia captain Michael Clarke says his team must worry about winning their one-day series against Sri Lanka and not the sweeping changes set to happen to the game in the wake of the Argus Report’s release.

Australia go into Saturday’s fourth one-day international at Colombo’s Premadasa Stadium knowing victory will give them an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.

And Clarke says his main focus is achieving that success on the field despite the report putting several of the support staff including head coach Tim Nielsen in the firing line for Australian cricket’s decline in recent years.


“Obviously a lot going on back home, but as I’ve said previously about the review a few times now, it’s all about setting up a structure and putting things in place to improve Australian cricket,” Clarke said.

“From a player’s perspective, it’s about playing well tomorrow. Coming here and preparing as well as we possibly can for a massive game tomorrow.

“As I’ve learnt very quickly as captain my role is to help get the best out of the players on the field and that’s my job.

“The administrators have their job to do, the selectors have their job to do and my job is to get the best out of the players on the field tomorrow.” Clarke said selectors would wait to see how the pitch at the Premadasa Stadium is likely to play before choosing on their XI for Saturday’s game.

The Australians have so far used the same team for all three one-day matches but Tuesday’s 78-run loss to the Sri Lankans may bring about change.

The hosts will definitely take a new look into the game after dumping young batsman Dinesh Chandimal, all-rounder Thisara Perera and spinner Rangana Herath from their squad during the week.

Vice-captain Angelo Mathews should return to the line-up after missing game three through injury while leg-spinner Seekkuge Prasanna has been rushed back from a Sri Lanka ‘A’ tour of England and could feature on Saturday.

Clarke admitted having little knowledge of the 26-year-old who plays in the same Sri Lanka Army side as Ajantha Mendis and has an outstanding List A record, taking 73 wickets at 18.38 in 45 matches.

“I don’t know too much about him no, but our support staff are on to it as I speak and I’m certain the guys will be given some information at training about him,” Clarke said. “The only thing I do know is he recently got six-for in a Sri Lanka ‘A’ game and they’ve flown him back because of that.

“We’ll wait and see what team Sri Lanka picks for tomorrow. I’d imagine this wicket will spin. It’ll be quite slow as we’ve seen in the past on previous wickets.

“We’ll be as well prepared as ever. The boys are excited about tomorrow and I’m very confident we’ll put in a better performance than we did last game.” Saturday’s game starts at 2.30pm local time (1900 AEST) while the fifth and final match in the series will be played at the same venue on Monday.