Clarke: Batsmen keep letting us down

Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke said out loud what everyone else was thinking in the wake of the fourth Ashes Test, and that was that he and his batsmen needed to score more runs and stop letting the bowlers down.

Australia captain Michael Clarke said out loud what everyone else was thinking in the wake of the fourth Ashes Test, and that was that he and his batsmen needed to score more runs and stop letting the bowlers down.

England won the Test by 74 runs in Durham, and thus won the Ashes three-nil, with Stuart Broad taking seven wickets in the evening session on day four. Clarke himself made only 27 runs in the game, while only Chris Rogers made a century. Paceman Ryan Harris' career-best figures of seven for 117 went in vain.

Clarke stated after the game: "I want our batters to get more runs. I'd like our batting to be stronger. Our bowlers are doing a fantastic job – I don't think we are making enough runs it's as simple as that.

"I am part of the batting unit – I am not different to any other batter in that order – my job is first and foremost to score runs and I only made 27 in this test and that's unacceptable."

He felt though that the players were not losing heart, and would be ready for the challenge when the Ashes move Down Under in November. Until then, they had to keep their heads up, and not let Broad's demolition wilt their enthusiasm.

Pup continued: "We've got a couple of months I guess – all I can ask from the players is that they try and get better every day. We are working exceptionally hard, that is all we can keep doing.

"Chasing 300 in the last innings of a test match is always going to be difficult there is no doubt about that – I don't think today was about forgetting how to win, I just think a good bowler got his back up and got momentum around with it and we couldn't stop him.

"I can't fault the belief in the guys or their will to try and win -everybody's attitude is brilliant. It's extremely disappointing. I guess I know now what it feels like to lose an Ashes series as a captain."

While this leg of the Ashes may be all but over, with only the game at the Oval on 21 August left to play, Clarke's attention must soon shift to the five-game leg Down Under. But they will come out for battle in London, he said.

The skipper insisted: "The fifth test is as important as the first four have been. We have to play some good cricket and I think we have shown in patches we can do that.

"We have got the potential and the talent – if we play that brand of cricket we have shown glimpses of I am confident we can beat any team in the world."

The question of replacing some of the batting squad, particularly Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson, was not entertained by Clarke, who said they had the best players available on tour, and he had to back them to score runs.

Clarke added: "I think we are picking the best players: everyone says 'rebuild, rebuild, rebuild, but you need guys in first-class cricket making runs to take someone's slot. We have to continue to show faith in these guys – it takes time playing against good opposition.

"I think the selectors are doing the best they can to pick the best sides."

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