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Michael Clarke happy with start to tenure

Posted by on April 15, 2011 0 Comment

Michael Clarke basked in his first series win as Australia’s full-time captain after the tourists trumped Bangladesh in the third and final one-dayer in Dhaka.

The Aussies added to their 60-run win in the series opener and nine-wicket triumph in the second ODI with a comfortable 66-run victory on Wednesday, leaving Ricky Ponting’s successor to hail a fine all-round effort from his troops.

Clarke landed a century in game one, Shane Watson did the same in game two and Michael Hussey racked up three figures in game three, while the rest of the top- to middle-order weighed in consistently.

The bowlers, meanwhile, were fronted by pace ace Mitchell Johnson’s seven wickets and three apiece from seamer Watson and leg-spinner Steven Smith. Medium-pacers John Hastings and James Pattinson, playing in his debut ODI series, both stepped up well enough in tough sub-continental conditions.

“It was a good series. It was an outstanding effort from the boys. We have lots of talent in the team. I thought Smith bowled very well without too much luck to be honest. He changed his pace really well and probably could’ve had two or three more wickets. It’s so very exciting to see young Pattinson come in and do well, and I’m stoked with the result in the series,” enthused Clarke.

“I think on wickets like that you have to bowl in partnerships, you have to work out who the batsman is you’re trying to attack and which batsman, if someone’s going well, you’re trying to defend. Young James and Smith did that really well.

“Watson is enjoying his batting and also doing the job with the ball. We hope he can continue with his purple patch.”

The 30-year-old right-hander paid tribute to Ponting for his positive influence on the team during their stint in Bangladesh, which saw the former skipper fetch 118 runs at the handsome average of 59.00 and pitch in with a string of successful tactical decisions.

“I am lucky that Ponting is in the team,” added Clarke, who took over from Ponting at the end of the World Cup.

“As a young captain I need to keep learning. Whenever the team is under pressure or don’t know what to do I can turn to Ricky.”

With a token string of one-dayers against the Tigers done and dusted, Clarke looked forward to a slew of big series across the duration of 2011.

“We’ve got to get ready for another big 12 months coming up. Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka for Tests and one-dayers, South Africa in South Africa, and New Zealand and India back in Australia, so we’ve got some tough cricket ahead of us. We know we have a lot of improvement left, both individually and as a team,” he concluded. Cricket365

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