Stalemate a last resort - Clarke
Michael Clarke has warned England that Australia will go all-out for victory in this week’s crucial Ashes Test at the Brit Oval.
Australia go into the fifth and final npower Test having squared the series at 1-1 with a comprehensive innings-and-80-run win over the hosts at Headingley Carnegie.
A draw will be enough for Ricky Ponting’s side to retain the famous urn but Clarke, who helped Australia’s cause with an impressive 93 at Leeds, is adamant that the tourists will not be playing for a draw.
“In the 50-odd Tests I’ve played we’ve never played for a draw, I’m pretty confident we won’t be out there trying for draw,” the batsman said.
“If we have no choice then we have no choice. I’d rather 1-1 than 2-1 loss, but our attitude won’t be that when we walk out to the ground on Thursday.
“The mood in the camp is very positive. We know it’s going to be a really hard Test, but we’re in a confident position at the moment.
“The forecast looks OK so we’ll be chasing one result, and that’s to win.”
Clarke is expected to shrug off a stomach injury to be fit for the sell-out Test, which begins on Thursday.
The 28-year-old has enjoyed much more success in this series than in the 2005 rubber, when he failed to reach three figures despite playing all five Tests.
The vice-captain admits the tourists have been using the 2-1 series defeat four years ago as motivation for this Test.
“Once I arrived in England in the back of my mind there were memories from ‘05 that I wish I could forget,” Clarke said. “But that's what makes you a better player, you learn from your mistakes as an individual and a team.
“The guys that played in ‘05 will be really keen to make sure the results are a lot different come Monday.”
Australia have a selection dilemma with their bowling attack after Brett Lee declared himself fit for the Test.
He will face opposition from Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark for a place in the pace attack.
The tourists are expected to stick with the batting line-up that amassed 445 runs at Headingley on a pitch where England made just 102 and 263.
Their opponents, however, are expected to recall all-rounder Andrew Flintoff while debutant Jonathan Trott will replace the out-of-form Ravi Bopara.
Clarke believes the Warwickshire batsman faces a hard task adapting to Test cricket.
“Ricky Ponting has played over 130 Test matches and said to us it’s one of the biggest Tests he’s ever played in,” said Clarke.
“He (Trott) will be under a lot of pressure. Any time you debut the pressure from within is the hardest part. You wait a long time for the opportunity.
“Trott is going to feel the nerves and be under pressure. The sooner we can get him in the better.”