Ashes

Clarke gets batting tips

2010-12-01 09:24
Michael Clarke (AP)

Adelaide - Michael Clarke said on Wednesday he had enlisted the help of captain Ricky Ponting to work on a flaw in his batting ahead of Friday's second Ashes Test against England at the Adelaide Oval.

Clarke was one of Australia's disappointing performers in Monday's drawn Gabba opener taking 50 balls to score just nine and dropping two catches.

The team vice-captain spent more time in the Adelaide Oval nets on Wednesday than his fellow Australian batsmen, facing up to spin, pace and the throw-downs of Ponting and coach Tim Nielsen.

Clarke said Ponting engineered a subtle technical tweak to have him standing more upright at the crease and the change seemed to be working.

"I was just working on a few things and obviously Punter's (Ponting) seen me bat for a long time now through my career and picks things up at training," Clarke told reporters.

"So I was getting him to throw me a few balls and get him to have a look and see what his thoughts were.

"He was just mentioning that I was a bit low in my stance, so I just tried to stand a little bit taller and see if it worked.

"I felt a little bit better, if you saw my net session I struggled at the start there and felt like it got better throughout a pretty long net session so that was good."

Such was Clarke's torturous 76-minute innings in Brisbane that most pundits thought he was troubled by a back complaint, which had him in some doubt ahead of the Gabba Test.

But Clarke said his problems had been more to do with intelligent English bowling and his own lack of footwork.

"I thought they bowled pretty well, pretty good areas, there was a little bit in the wicket and Jimmy Anderson was through a pretty good spell," Clarke said.

"But in saying that my feet weren't moving as well as I'd like, probably wasn't watching the ball as well as I should be and probably played not a very good shot.

"The ball I got out on was a pretty poor shot, execution and shot selection probably wasn't right, so I'll learn from that and hopefully I can bat better in this Test."

Clarke, who looked uncomfortable facing the short-pitched deliveries of Stuart Broad and Steven Finn in Brisbane, said that may have been England's bowling plan against him.

"That might be their plan. They might try to bowl a bit back-of-a-length to sit me back before trying to come forward," he said.

"But in Australia in the second innings, once the wickets even themselves out, it's a pretty hard place to bowl short."

Clarke has an outstanding batting record at the Adelaide Oval, scoring three centuries in four Tests and averaging 95.

Read more on:    ashes  |  ricky ponting  |  michael clarke
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