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Clarke defends rotation policy

Sportal January 17, 2013, 4:07 pm
Michael Clarke

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Michael Clarke has defended Australian cricket's rotation policy despite its apparent unpopularity with some fans.

Speaking to media ahead of Friday's one-day international against Sri Lanka, the Australian captain said the selection panel, of which he is a member, is doing its best to ensure the strongest team takes the field for every match.

Matthew Wade, David Warner and Clarke were rested for the first two games of the five-match series against Sri Lanka, which stands at 1-1.

"What the public wants to see is the best possible Australian team on the field, every game, and honestly I think we're trying to do that. I really do," Clarke said.

"I think the risk of playing someone when they're not 100 percent fit, if they do get injured, can put them out for six weeks, six months.

Clarke said that although keeping the fans happy was vital, Australian cricket no longer had the luxury of a settled 11 full of world beaters, as it did a decade ago.

"The issue where the Australian team now is compared to ten years ago, is ten years ago you had four, five, six, seven great players in one team, so if they were 80 percent fit, they were still good enough to win a game for Australia," he said.

"Where we sit now as a team is, it's a lot different to that.

"The gap between the 11 players that take the field and the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th player is quite close, so if you're not 100% fit to perform at your best, it's not worth the risk for the team for you to take to the field and let the team down.

"I think what the public wants to see also is see Australia win games of cricket. We're going to try on every single occasion to get our best 11, the guys that are fully fit, on the park.

"The Australian way is always, and will always be, everybody is entitled to their opinion, and I love that about this country. We as a selection panel, yeah, there's going to be times we have to cop criticism, that's for sure," he said.

"But I just want the public and the media to understand that we're trying to do the best thing for Australian cricket."

Clarke was unable to announce Friday's side as all-rounder Moises Henriques was awaiting the results of scans on a finger injury which he picked up in training Thursday.

Regardless of who lines up in the contest, Clarke said he is confident the Gabba pitch will ensure an even contest between bat and ball.

"It's always a beautiful wicket," he said.

"In my opinion this is the best one day wicket in the world. It has beautiful pace and bounce for the bowlers but as you get in as a batter, there's no better place to bat either."

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  1. greg12:40pm Friday 18th January 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Clarke can say whatever he likes or what Cricket Australia want him to say, bottom line is the rotation policy is a joke. these players are million dollar a year professional athletes. If you're fit you should play. Especially when the public are paying top dollar to see you play. If you'd told Lillee, Marsh, Border etc to have a rest after only 2 games you woulda got a very rude response. I dont see the point in giving a guy a game, he takes a bag of wickets then you rest him. Whatever happened to the old saying you dont change a winning side? Besides, if you're international athletes you should be expected to perform day after day. Grow some backbone guys and get out there

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