Clarke vows to be more disciplined

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Published: Tuesday 7th July 2015 by The News Editor

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Australia captain Michael Clarke expects his players to keep their emotions from boiling over despite the fierce pressure of an Ashes series.

England and Australia renew hostilities at Cardiff on Wednesday as the first Test gets underway, with the build-up to the Investec series dominated by the topic of sledging.

While England captain Alastair Cook and James Anderson have attempted to play it down, the tourists have so far indicated they will not take a backward step out on the field.

Clarke, who was fined after telling Anderson to “get ready for a f*****g broken arm” in Brisbane the last time these two sides met in 2013/14, says getting involved in heated confrontation has failed to improve his game.

However, he understands it has helped former or current team-mates, and he is happy for it continue – as long as they do not over-step the mark.

“For me you don’t have to say a word to show your intent and play a good brand of cricket. I’ve said my whole career, whether I’ve sledged someone or somebody’s sledged me it’s never helped my game,” he said.

“I’d like to see the individual players play their best cricket and to some players that I’ve been fortunate enough to play with through my career it helped their game, they see benefit in that.

“As long as those players understand there’s a line you can’t overstep then they know what they have to do to get the best out of themselves and that’s what important for the team to have success.

“The way we’ve been brought up is to play tough competitive cricket on the field, but I certainly understand the respect, the rules and regulations of our game and where that line sits.

“I’ve made it very clear in the last series that if somebody overstepped that mark it was me and as captain of this team I need to be more disciplined and I know I will be.”

Australia are favourites to retain the urn yet they have not won a Test series on English soil since 2001, with England besting them on three occasions since then.

While Clarke’s men have the bragging rights after a 5-0 whitewash Down Under two winters ago, England can boast of the 3-0 win they achieved in 2013.

“We know how hard this series is going to be, it’s no coincidence we haven’t won here since 2001,” said Clarke.

“Beating England in their own backyard is extremely tough, we’re excited by the challenge but we know it’s going to be a tough five Test match series.”

Clarke was keeping his cards close to his chest regarding his team selection, insisting he will only reveal his team at the last possible moment after looking at the SSE Swalec wicket on Wednesday morning.

“We haven’t got a team at this stage,” he added. “The wicket’s changed a fair bit from yesterday already, so the selectors are going to wait another day and see what it’s like tomorrow before the start of play.

“So we’ll announce our XI at the toss of the coin.”

Published: Tuesday 7th July 2015 by The News Editor

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