Clarke: I can't switch my mind off cricket

Australia

Australia captain Michael Clarke says no matter how difficult his job gets, he never loses his desire to help the Baggy Green, and he rarely switches his mind off from the task at hand.

Australia captain Michael Clarke says no matter how difficult his job gets, he never loses his desire to help the Baggy Green, and he rarely switches his mind off from the task at hand.

Clarke, generally considered his side's best player, has a huge amount of pressure on him, both with the bat and in terms of leading the side, as the Aussies trail England two-nil in the Ashes.

And even though the side's had more than a week's break between the second the third Tests, and Clarke didn't play in the tour match against Sussex, he still couldn't relax and let go, rather looking for ways to help his side.

'Pup' told the <i>London Evening Standard</i>: "I find it hard to switch off. I go to bed and my phones are on through the night, just in case one of the boys needs to call me at any time.

"I'm the type of person who goes in with both feet. I come to training before everyone else, or I stay later, if there is something I need to fix in my own game, but my focus 99 per cent of the time is to ensure the team have everything they need. That is my job as captain.

"Personal performance is just as important and you need to score runs to stay in the team, so I think I've managed to get the perfect mix of concentrating on my own needs and those of the team.

"But I'm not going to be doing this job for 15 years, so it's about getting in and doing it as well as I can. I jump into it and give it everything I've got. Then, if it turns out I'm no longer the right man for the job, it will no longer be my role."

Clarke went on to say that any loss, whether a close on or a big defeat, always affects him, but he never let that get him down and would always try to make sure he stayed positive, both for himself and the team.

He said: "If you see my face after any Test I lose, whether I'm a captain or a player, I've always been the same. Losing breaks my heart.

"My parents instilled in me that when I walked on to the field, whether I was playing cricket or rugby league, I was doing everything I could to help the team win.

"I was lucky at the start of my career that we were extremely successful and 90 per cent of my time was spent learning how to win.

"If I'm dropped in the future, I'll live with that but I certainly won't walk away while we're not playing as well as I know we can. I want to help us get that feeling back."

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