Cricket

Clarke hails Aussie bowlers

2012-01-06 14:23
Michael Clarke (AP)

Sydney - Michael Clarke's unbeaten 329 laid the foundation for his team's crushing victory over India in the second Test on Friday but the Australia captain was quick to pay fullsome credit to his bowlers for the win.

Australia bowled India out for 191, declared on 659 for four in their own first innings, then bowled the tourists out again for 400 on Friday to secure an innings and 68-run victory and go 2-0 up in the four-match series.

"I thought the way we bowled in the first innings set the Test match up for us," Clarke, 30, told reporters.

"To be able to take 10 wickets on a really flat wicket out there today(Friday) they deserve a lot of credit. They continue to perform in any conditions, which is very pleasing for us."

Quicks Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and James Pattinson, who will miss the remainder of the series through injury, shared the 10 wickets between them in the first innings with Hilfenhaus taking the lion's share with 5-106 in the second.

"I think we have wicket-taking bowlers in our attack, we have guys who can get a breakthrough, that's probably one of the most pleasing things as a captain," Clarke added.

"You can turn to any one of our bowlers to try and take a wicket, so that makes life easier for me.

"We're able to build up pressure at the moment, we're bowling a lot of dot balls, we're bowling a lot of maidens, we're restricting the batsmen and that's what's taking wickets.

"Against very good players you have to build up pressure because if you think one-off balls are going to get six or seven of the best batsmen in the world out, you're in for a rude shock.

"You need the whole bowling attack, and the whole team performing and that's what we're doing at the moment."

It was left to his predecessor as captain Ricky Ponting, who scored his first century in nearly two years with a 134, to pay fitting tribute to the batting performance that lit up the Test.

"It's been an amazing four days for us. We set it up on the first day with some fantastic bowling but our batting was as good as I have seen any cricket team bat," he said.

"The way Michael Clarke played. You look at his innings, 329 not out and he hardly mis-hit a ball, hardly played and missed, it was some amazing batting."

Clarke said although there would be plenty of celebrations on Friday night, the job was not yet done with two Tests against India remaining in Perth, starting next Friday, and Adelaide.

"As a team, we're really happy with two test match victories but we know there's a long way to go," he said.

"We're going to celebrate tonight, don't get me wrong, but come tomorrow(Saturday), we start preparations for Perth.

"We would love to win the series in Perth so there's still a lot for us to play for. We haven't won the series yet and there's a lot of work goes into that and that starts tomorrow(Saturday)."


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