Clarke sends clear message to players

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Published: Saturday, November 12, 2011, 16:07 [IST]
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Clarke sends message to players

Cape Town, Nov 12: After their humiliating loss to South Africa in the first Test, Aussie skipper Michael Clarke sent a clear message to his players by scheduling a training session next morning.

Despite the first Test finishing two days early, Clarke insisted on a training session the next day though it was supposed be a day off for the players.

Australia must perform well to survive in the two Test series, the second being played in Johannesburg. Australia missed a golden chance to win the match after their worst innings in over 100 years falling for 47 runs which eventually resulted in an eight-wicket loss.

Confidence is low, certain players might be playing for their careers and Clarke said hard work is the only thing that can save the two-game series.

"We need to get better, there's no doubt about it, and there's only one place to improve (and that's at training)," said Clarke.

"Training is about trying to get better. We've probably got to get that happy medium of enough training to get better before the Test but also being as ready to go as we can be."

Clarke said if he has players who don't take this loss to heart, then he doesn't want them in his team, hitting out hard criticism to his bowlers and batsmen.

"If you don't feel the pain here, you'll never feel the pain and you're playing the wrong sport, for the wrong team," Clarke said.

"If there's one person in that change room with a smile on their face... every single one of us needs to be disappointed, for good reason.

"The rest of (Friday) is about looking in each other's eyes and having the courage to admit where you let yourself and the team down.

"We still have a chance to level the series. That will definitely be our goal before we get on the plane back to Australia."

Skipper Clarke who scored a fabulous 151 to keep Australia in the game, said Australia's cricketers must apologise to followers.

"When you lose like that, you don't just let yourself down, you let the people who ... want to see the Australian cricket team do well and get back on top," he said.

"You need to find a way to get back up. Good teams do."


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