At a venue that stirs up nostalgia, Michael Clarke hopes to help Australia chug along merrily in the World Cup. Clarke made a memorable Test debut at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2004 with a 151.
In the current World Cup, Clarke has remained unbeaten with knocks of 58 and 24 against Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
“There are memories of me and my family in the change room when I scored my first Test ton. It's a very special ground for me and against Kenya (on Sunday), I hope to score some runs,” Clarke told the media here on Wednesday afternoon.
The questions addressed to the Australian vice-captain soon focused on the other Michael in the squad — Hussey. “He joined us this morning and was keen to get into nets as early as six! Hussey brings in a lot of experience in these conditions.
“Having a left-hander in the squad will help. He can win games on his own and he will play a big part,” Clarke said.
Australia has remained unbeaten so far in the tournament and Clarke said the squad wanted to keep improving. “We are happy with the way we have played but it is still a long way to go. There is a lot of talent at this World Cup.
“The Irish team played some unbelievable cricket. We certainly won't be taking Canada or Kenya lightly. There are too many teams pushing for the top four and two slots so we have to give our best against Kenya, Canada and against Pakistan in our last group game,” Clarke said.
He added that the long breaks between games had not affected the team's momentum. “Every game you play for Australia, you want to win so the gaps won't affect us. The important thing while playing in the sub-continent is to improve your skill in these conditions.
“As the tournament gets older, spin is going to play an important part and we have seen reverse swing as well,” he said.
Adept at playing mind games, Clarke did his bit to flip pressure back on India as he said: “India are still the favourites because they are playing in their home conditions.”
And on Friday's review meeting back home about the Ashes debacle, Clarke said: “As long as people making decisions look at making Australia the number one team, we are in pretty good hands.”