Clarke confident Aussies will finish job

Australia can square the ledger on a patchy travelling Test record under captain Michael Clarke by finishing off their series against the West Indies with a win.


Australia smashed the Windies inside three days in last week’s opening Test to retain the Frank Worrell Trophy.

That result would lead many to believe a similar crushing victory in the second Test at Jamaica’s Sabina Park starting on Thursday looms.

But Clarke isn’t having a bar of it, desperate as he is to turn around his team’s poor recent record on the road.

In the seven completed Test series Clarke has lead Australia in overseas, only three have ended in victory – against Sri Lanka in 2011, the Windies in 2012 and then South Africa in 2014.

The team’s record over those seven series was a middling six wins, 11 losses and five draws.

Two Test victories against the Windies will pump that ledger up to eight overseas wins under Clarke and four series won overall.

Not that the Australians are counting their chickens.

England were surprised by the Windies in the final Test of their recent three-Test series in the Caribbean, losing inside three-days to have to settle for a 1-1 result.

Clarke says he’s made it crystal clear to his team nothing less than a series win from this abbreviated stop in the Caribbean will do.

“I spoke to the boys a little bit after the first Test, just saying how pleased I was with their attitude with regards to training and preparation,” Clarke said.

“We saw the result of that in the first Test … I’m sure the boys knew exactly what I was saying in regards to what my expectations were for this Test.

“That’s probably my indicator for this team is attitude. If I see blokes with the right attitude at training, then I’m really confident that we will continue to find a way to have success.

“We want to be the No.1 Test team in the world and to do that you’ve got to win home and away.”

Australia are largely expected to go with the same XI for the Kingston Test after opener Chris Rogers was ruled out by team doctor Peter Brukner on Tuesday.

Rogers missed the first Test due to concussion and Brukner says while the 37-year-old’s condition has improved, it’s not good enough to get him back playing.

Australia had their first look at the Kingston pitch on Tuesday, though it’s unlikely the green-tinged grassy wicket will retain that look come match day.

Clarke says both Australia’s bowlers and batsmen were rusty for periods in the first Test despite their crushing win.

In a warning for the Windies, he says they’ll be better for what was the first red-ball hit out in months for many of the players.

“We spoke a little bit about that and we know that we have to have more discipline with our shot selection in Test match cricket,” he said.

“You’ll see us come out and play him better in the second Test match.”

AUSTRALIA v WEST INDIES – Test head-to-head record

Overall: Australia 55, West Indies 32, tied one, drawn 24

In West Indies: Australia 20, West Indies 14, drawn 15

In Jamaica: Australia 4, West Indies 3, drawn 3

Last time: Australia def West Indies by 95 runs at Sabina Park, Jamaica in May 2008

* Australia have won 10 of the past 13 Tests against the West Indies at home or away

* West Indies’ last Test win over Australia was in May 2003


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