Pup tips toil for tourists
Michael Clarke has warned Australia’s batsmen to prepare for a war of attrition when the second Test against the West Indies gets under way at Queen’s Park Oval today.
Australia’s top six were rescued by some lower-order heroics during last week’s thrilling three-wicket win in Bridgetown and the skipper admitted their hopes of wrapping up the series with a game to spare hinge on a much improved effort from the batters.
“The batsmen are going to have to work their backside off to score runs,” ‘Pup’ said. “Like I said before the first Test, West Indies conditions - and we’ll probably see it [at Queen’s Park] - you have to bat for a long period of time to make your runs and you’re going to have to find a way.”
Rain has kept the Port of Spain pitch under cover for most of the build up but a break in showers revealed a track bearing a healthy coverage of grass. However, ground staff were confident the wicket would keep with the ground’s reputation of morphing into a spinner’s paradise as the match wore on.
And Clarke added: “If the ball is spinning you’re going to have to find a way to stay out there and not give [your] wicket away. If it’s staying up and down, you’ve got to find a way to spend time at the crease.
“That’s the tough part of international cricket, whether you’re a batter or a bowler, you’ve got to be able to find a way to adjust.”
Today’s clash is somewhat of a venture into the unknown for the Baggy Greens, with former captain Ricky Ponting the only member of the squad to have played a Test at Queen’s Park.
But Clarke insists it won’t take them long to adjust to their new surroundings, saying: “I tell you what we do very well, we find ways to still win. If you look at our record in the subcontinent that it’s very good and we’ve faced a lot of spin there.”
On the make-up of his bowling line-up, Clarke insisted he won’t hesitate to drop a member of his fearsome pace attack to accommodate a second spinner.
“It’s not necessarily the best three, four, five individual bowlers, in my opinion, you’ve got to pick your best attack to win the Test match,” he said.