London - Australia captain Michael Clarke has insisted on Tuesday that the latest changes
to his side were all designed to help the tourists salvage some pride in
their Ashes finale against England at The Oval.
England have an unbeatable 3-0 series lead heading into the final Test
at The Oval in south London starting on Wednesday.
previously said, "this is not a charity tour, it's not about giving
blokes a go and hoping for the best," found himself having to defend the
selectors' decision Tuesday to give a Test debut to James Faulkner,
which appeared to be a classic case of taking a punt on a player with
the series lost.
The Tasmanian paceman has taken 132 first-class
wickets at under 23 apiece but, although considered an all-rounder, he
has yet to make a senior hundred in any class of domestic or
The debutant was brought in at the expense
of under-performing number three batsman Usman Khawaja -- who was axed
on the same day Cricket Australia announced his national contract had
Shane Watson, who started the series as an opener
and was then deployed at number six, was given the task of filling a
problem position for Australia.
Meanwhile, in a nine-match pattern
of being in and then out of the side, including Australia's 4-0 series
loss in India earlier this year, left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc
returned to the side, having understandably complained Monday about his
treatment by the selectors.
No Australia side has lost an Ashes
series in England 4-0 and victory is desperately needed by Clarke's men,
who haven't won any of their last eight Tests, a run consisting of
seven defeats and a drawn third Ashes match at Manchester's Old
"Our goal hasn't changed," Clarke told reporters at The
Oval on Tuesday.
"Like I've said a number of times in my press
conferences we are trying to win every Test that we play.
Test is no different. There are a number of reasons we need to have
success in this Test match but the main reason is because every Test you
play for Australia you want to win.
"We don't need any extra motivation
"It (a win) would be a nice way to finish the Test side of the tour."
were once renowned for a 'pick and stick' approach exemplified by the
career of former captain Steve Waugh, who didn't score a hundred until
his 26th Test before becoming one of the leading batsmen of his era.
contrast, this series has seen 17 out of the 18-man squad given a taste
of Test action, with only reserve wicketkeeper Matthew Wade missing
out, in chaotic scenes reminiscent of the kind of uncertainty that
bedevilled English cricket in the late 1980s to the early 2000s when
they were on the receiving end of eight straight Ashes series losses at
the hands of their arch-rivals.
As yet neither coach Darren
Lehmann, parachuted in before the Ashes following the sacking of Mickey
Arthur, or fellow selector on tour Rodney Marsh, have explained in
public the thinking behind their Oval choices.
Earlier on Tuesday, Clarke tried to do it for them.
"I know there's been a lot of talk back home about consistency of selection," he said.
the selectors are trying to do everything in their power to help us win
and if guys aren't performing, unfortunately you can't select them.
"We're trying, or the selectors, I guess, are trying to be as consistent as they can but we're also here to win the game."