Anything less than a whitewash will be sad: Clarke

Jan 23, 2012, 12:33 IST | Agencies

Australian captain Michael Clarke is looking for a 4-0 whitewash against India as the two team gear up for the fourth and the final Test at the Adelaide Oval starting Tuesday.

Australian captain Michael Clarke is looking for a 4-0 whitewash against India as the two team gear up for the fourth and the final Test at the Adelaide Oval starting Tuesday.

Clarke said anything less than that would be a disappointment for the Australians.

"We are thinking one thing - whitewash. Anything less than a 4-0 defeat of this powerful Indian team will be a disappointment to all of us," Clarke wrote in his column in The Herald Sun.

"There was great satisfaction with clinching the series in Perth. It was a fine achievement to beat a side ranked second in the world when the series started," he said.

Clarke said that despite the Perth win, the job is not yet done.

"This is something all the guys can be proud of... Having dragged ourselves up after a disappointing loss to New Zealand in Hobart little more than a month ago, the last thing we want to do is stumble again. There has been too much of that in the recent past," he said.

"Some of our performances have been very good. The record run chase against South Africa in Johannesburg in November is in the forefront of my mind. But that followed the Test in Cape Town when we threw away a winning position by being bowled out for 47. That still hurts," he said.

The Australian captain feels Adelaide will be a tough test for his boys against India.

"Test cricket is never easy despite what might look like comfortable victories in the first three Tests, and I expect Adelaide to be the toughest of the lot, regardless of the series scoreline. Adelaide Oval usually presents a beautiful batting wicket and it traditionally lacks the bounce and sideways movement of other pitches around the country," he said.

Clarke said Indians will feel at home at the Adelaide Oval, where the visitors have remained unbeaten in nearly 12 years.

"In short, this is likely to be the closest to home conditions India will experience on this tour, which means it is going to be tough work for our bowlers. This is highlighted by the fact we haven't beaten India in Adelaide for a dozen years.

"When India were last here four years ago the Test was drawn. And four years before that we scored 556 in our first innings and, quite incredibly, lost the match against their powerful batting line-up," he said.

Clarke said spinner Nathan Lyon will be back in the side and backed the local boy to do well in his first Test at his home ground.

"So no matter what may have happened earlier in the series, this is not going to be a walk in the park as we chase a 4-0 result.

"There is likely to be one change to the team which won in Perth, with spinner Nathan Lyon coming back into the side. We took a horses for courses approach in Perth on a green and bouncy wicket by playing four fast bowlers, and it worked well.

"But conditions must be very heavily weighed in favour of the quicks for me to make a decision like that. I like a spinner in the side for variety and, in Adelaide, it's all but compulsory," he said.

On who among the four quicks will make way for Lyon, Clarke said: "It's his home ground, he's a wonderful, attacking spinner with good variety, and I always enjoy having him in the side. Which raises the obvious question: if Nathan plays, which fast bowler will miss out?

"The way they bowled in Perth, they all deserve a spot. Deciding who to leave out of a winning side is a wonderful position to be in given we struggled to take wickets last summer. Whatever decision we eventually make, the only criteria will be deciding the best XI to win this Test."

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