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Oz batting collapse in Windies series highlights Clarke's significance to squad

Melbourne, Tue, 20 Mar 2012 ANI

Melbourne, Mar 20(ANI): Australia's poor batting in the West Indies tour has highlighted that the presence of skipper Michael Clarke is crucial in the team's middle order.


Australia has struggled to put up a formidable score on the low and slow pitches at the Arnos Vale Ground in St Vincent, and relied on a spectacular collapse by the West Indies to win the opening match by 64 runs before losing a rain-marred second match by five wickets.


Veteran batsman Michael Hussey admitted that the team missed Clarke's skill and experience in their batting line-up.


"He's been a class player for us over a long period of time and, particularly in the last six months, he's performed outstandingly well. He's definitely missed. He plays the conditions and situations very, very well," The Herald Sun quoted Clarke, as saying.


"From a batting point of view, in these conditions, if we can turn those 20s into 40s, then it can make a big difference. That's an extra 15-20 runs which is quite a lot when you're playing in these conditions. Certainly that's one thing we've got to try and get better at," he added.


Meanwhile, Australia has dropped Peter Forrest dropped for the third ODI to make way for spinner Nathan Lyon.


Australian team: Shane Watson (capt), David Warner, Matthew Wade, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, George Bailey, Dan Christian, Brett Lee, Clint McKay, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty. (ANI)


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