Clarke’s joy at England Rooting out man in Nick
MOUTHY Michael Clarke insists he is delighted that England have axed Nick Compton.
The Somerset star has been dropped in order to promote Joe Root as Alastair Cook’s opening partner.
There was no way back for Compton despite scoring two 50s playing against the Aussies in tour matches.
But their cocky captain has already started the war of words. Clarke said: “We haven’t bowled to Joe yet but we didn’t manage to get Nick out that easily, so I’m happy he’s not playing, to be honest.
“I think Nick showed over the last couple of four-day matches that he’s got a lot of class.
“He’s got a very good defence and I’m surprised he’s not in the first Test team for England.”
But Clarke did concede his side are far from favourites as they look to regain the Ashes at the third attempt.
“I’ve said for a while now that we come here as underdogs – there’s no doubt about that – but that hasn’t affected our preparation and it won’t affect our performance either,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to a tough series, we know it’s going to be tough, but I know our boys are up to the challenge.
“Every time I’ve played England it’s been tough cricket, whether that be in the shorter format or the Test format.
“I think the rivalry between Australia and England is something to look forward to being part of as a player.
“It’s always competitive on the field but in my career both teams have always had the utmost respect for each other off the field. I’m confident this series will be no different.”
He added: “To win the series would be a great
FRACAS: David Warner achievement. It would be a reward for the hard work that we’ve put in.”
The Aussies were last night remaining tightlipped over whether bad boy David Warner would return to the fold.
The fiery batsman has had to sit it out after being axed from their tour matches for thumping England star Root in a late-night pub fracas.
Clarke insisted he had already told his players the team, but refused to confirm whether Warner was in it.
Clarke said: “I think that was sorted out a long time ago.
“I’m as convinced as I can be that he is ready.
“Obviously he hasn’t played any four-day cricket, but if David is selected I’m confident he’ll have success.”
PUP FOR THE CUP:
Clarke can’t wait for the series to start