Australia are favourites: Clarke
Melbourne, Feb 4: As the No. 1 ranked ODI team prepare take on the ODI World Cup Champions on Sunday, skipper Michael Clarke feels that Australia are the favourites to win the tri-series. Runners-up of the 2011 ICC World Cup Sri Lanka are the third team participating in the series. Clarke added that with three of the best teams playing against each other, the series was bound to generate enough excitement to draw crowds to the stadiums.
Excerpts from Clarke’s pre-match press conference:
On taking on India and Sri Lanka in the ODI tri-series
We have to play at our best to beat both these teams. They were both in the final of the most recent World Cup. We're the No. 1 one-day team in the world so I'd like to think we are favourites.
On losing the second T20I to India
India are a very good team [...] The way they fielded last night is how you need to field in cricket. Fielding is a big part of our game and I certainly wasn't surprised by how they fielded. They are a very good outfit; there are some really good athletes in that team. That's the game. Unfortunately, you can't win every single game.
On the turnout expected for the ODI series
When you're playing two very good opposition teams, Sri Lanka and India, if I was a fan I would love to get out there and watch it so I'm expecting people to continue to turn out. It's probably going to be a little bit harder for the Melbourne people tomorrow considering they have just played a Twenty20 last night. People have got only so much money so a lot of families can't afford in one weekend to go and watch two big games. We'll wait and see. If any city is going to turn out, it's Melbourne though. They're very supportive of Australian cricket and of sport.
On Shaun Marsh and Brad Haddin not making it to the ODI squad
The team has been picked for the first three games so I think the selectors will talk before they select the team for the next group of matches. Hads [Brad Haddin] just needs to get back to scoring runs and keeping well. There's been a lot of talk about it; I don't think Brad's that bothered by it. He knows what he has to do, put numbers on the board, and I'm sure he will get another opportunity.
As for Shaun [Marsh], it will be no doubt good for him to go out and try and score some runs. I've said for some time he's a wonderful player and he needs to be scoring runs in all forms of the game. I'm pretty confident Shaun will turn that around.
On the selection of the ODI team
The guys have been picked on performance. They have performed either for their state or Australia. They've been given an opportunity and in the back of your mind you do need to continue to look forward but it's important, especially against these two teams, that we play our best cricket and concentrate on what's in front of us.
On increasing the number of Twenty20 games
I'm not involved in the Twenty20s, so if there is more Twenty20 cricket, then I wouldn't be required. I'll get a longer break after the Test series. It's been the same for a while now in T20 cricket. I think it has probably had a fair amount of success domestically be it the IPL, Champions League Twenty20 [CLT20] or Big Bash. I'm not sure what they're going to do internationally, to be honest.