It’s about the team winning: Clarke
Sydney, Jan 6: Michael Clarke was the undisputed star of the Sydney Test, declaring the hosts’ first innings when he was on a solid unbeaten 329 to put his team in a good position to win the Test. After the hosts beat India comprehensively at the SCG, Clarke expressed his delight in the post-match interview.
On the match
That was a great win. They made 400 there today, that’s a flat wicket. A lot of credit has to go to the bowlers; it’s a really tough wicket to get ten wickets on. To come out yesterday and today [and] perform the way we did is a really positive sign for this team [...] I think we did a great job. I am stoked, I was happy yesterday making some runs personally finally in this series but the important thing for me would be the Test match victory.
On what was going right for the team
Discipline has to be what’s improved most in the last few months; we are executing our skills. Lots of guys in the group have got the talent; we’ve just been able to execute on this stage. I have spoken for a while now about consistency and I guess we have been better with that as well. It was really nice to have our batting group stand up in this game and make some runs and then the bowlers did the job. That is really exciting for us.
On the team
The experience and the youth is what you need to have success in my opinion in any sporting team and it’s no different in the Australian cricket team. I think we have got a good mix of that. I think we have got guys who have a lot of experience [and] a lot of knowledge about conditions all around the world, especially here in Australia. Fortunately it has paid off in this game. This is not the only Test match where this has happened; [Michael] Hussey and Punter [Ricky Ponting] have done a good job for us over the last couple of months, probably not as consistently as I would have liked, but everybody in the group’s aware that they are not far away from big scores. It’s good for the team for them to get runs in this game.
On his thoughts about Ponting’s hundred
I guess I was as relieved as Punter, but I am just stoked because I know how hard he has been working. Class is permanent, there is no doubt about that and Ricky continues to show that. He has been exceptional and he has helped me a lot so to see him finally get the reward he deserves [is great]. Everybody just wanted to congratulate him.
On joining the elite club of triple-centurions and also claiming Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket
It’s a very handy [wicket] to have but like I said the other day after I declared, it’s nice to make three hundred [runs] but the most important thing is to win the Test. I am on the moon, to make such a big score on my home ground; I couldn’t have asked for more.
On the crowd at Sydney
The support from the Australian public is outstanding but especially here in Sydney. [...] They have shown full credit to India as well which is great.
On the bowlers hunting in packs
Yes, we have [been]. The most important thing for us is that everybody has a job to do and we know in this game you are going to have your individual day. [...] But to have success as a team, every single guy in that change room will put the team first and that’s been the most pleasing thing for me over a number of years.
On whether he was surprised at the positive reactions to his declaration
It’s about the team winning. As you’ve seen, the wicket was very flat. I was concerned about the weather over the next couple of days as well so it was going to take a long time to bowl such a strong batting lineup out. That was the reason for my decision.
On whether he would consider playing four quick bowlers in the next Test in Perth
We will think about it. I look forward to the conditions being fast and bouncy. Right now we are going to enjoy tonight and enjoy the celebrations.