Clarke berates himself over poor form


Australia captain Michael Clarke is well aware that his contributions with the bat in this Ashes series have been negligible, and feels he may as well not have played in the third Test at Edgbaston.

England won the match by eight wickets, inside three days, and Clarke said after the game that there may as well have been 10 Aussies playing instead of 11, as he didn't add value to the batting order.

Clarke, who made 10 and 3, said of his own contributions: "It's always going to be hard to beat any opposition when they've got 11 and we've only got 10. At the moment that's how it feels.

"With my performances so far, I certainly haven't led from the front like I'd like to do as captain.

"I've always made that very clear that's a big part of my role as leader of this team, that I'm scoring plenty of runs and leading by example."

Clarke has been advised to use the two extra days of rest until the fourth Test to completely get away from the game, with the likes of Shane Warne saying it won't do Clarke any good to keep punishing himself, but Clarke says he cannot do that.

He said of his hard-working nature: "It’s a tough balance and I have spoken to Warney about it. A lot of players, it helps them to have time away.

"I think of someone like Ricky Ponting who used to go and play a week of golf then walk onto the field and make a hundred without picking up a bat at training.

"That’s never really been me. Training is still a big part, that’s what’s given me the success I have had throughout my career.

"I have stuck to it to date and don't think I will change now."

He added, related to that: "My self-belief is still there and that's because I continue to work as hard as I have throughout my career.

"For me to have success, it's always been about my preparation and working hard. That gives me my best chance.

"At the end of the day, you can only do your best. While I keep doing the preparation I'm doing, I believe I can have success out in the middle."