Clarke: Oz have the best attack

2014-01-31 19:46
Michael Clarke (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - Fresh off a 5-0 thrashing of England in the Ashes in Australia, Australian captain Michael Clarke believes his bowling attack is the best in Test cricket.

"I'm a little bit biased, but in my opinion this Australian attack is the best in the world," Clarke said in Potchefstroom on Friday, where his team is preparing to play a four-day warm-up match against a South African Invitation XI, starting on Sunday.

"[From] what I've seen from the Australian fast bowlers over a long period of time, I feel we have the best attack in the world."

Clarke said much of the success of South African bowlers was down to playing at home in favourable conditions.

The Australian squad arrived in South Africa on Wednesday, ahead of their three-match Test series against the Proteas starting in Centurion on February 12.

As both bowling units were strong, it meant the batsmen would face a tough challenge in the series.

"I think it's going to be a tough tour for the batters," Clarke said.

"You have two very good bowling attacks. I don't know what the wickets are going to be like, but generally there is a bit in the wickets in South Africa."

While Clarke said he was not concerned who the favourites were for the clash, he was content with giving that label to the Proteas.

"Being in South Africa's backyard, I would imagine they will be favourites but that doesn't bother us."

He said it would be crucial for the Australians to carry the momentum from the Ashes series.

"We just need to continue to play the way we played through the Australian summer.

"We need to make sure we're scoring enough runs. We're up against a very good bowling attack. Our bowlers need to keep executing to take 20 wickets in a Test match."

Clarke, however, was quietly confident his charges would get the job done.

"It's about getting used to the conditions, but if we can play a similar brand of cricket to what we played in Australia, then I think we can have some success over here."

The Australian captain said it would be interesting to see how South Africa managed the void left following Jacques Kallis's retirement from Test cricket.

"Jacques was a magnificent player, and no team would ever be able to replace him. It presents opportunities for some other guys to play for South Africa in the Test team," he said.

"The South African batting line-up is extremely strong even without Jacques being in there, but Jacques would still be a big loss for any team."

As for the controversial topic of sledging, Clarke said there was no plan in place for such tactics by the Australians.

"It's never been part of our plan. It's just been the way the games turn out," he said.

"When you're on the field -- no matter who you're playing against -- it's a tough challenge. We understand there's a line there that you can't cross, and we won't."

Clarke said the personal relationships between the Australians and the South Africans had always been good, and he did not expect that to change in the upcoming series.

"I know Graeme (Smith) quite well and a lot of the South African players.

"There's a lot of mutual respect for both teams. You'll see some hard-fought cricket, but both teams get on very well off the field," he said.

"You'll see both teams get together after the game for a few quiet beers."

Read more on:    ozinsa  |  michael clarke  |  johannesburg  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

21 August 2014
Zimbabwe v South Africa, Bulawayo 09:30
27 August 2014
Australia v South Africa, Harare Sports Club 09:30
29 August 2014
Zimbabwe v South Africa, Harare Sports Club 09:30
Previous Results

Date Match Result

Which cricketer is currently of most value to the Proteas' Test team?

Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.