Going into the Test series against India, former Australia captain Michael Clarke said that his former teammates need to put earning respect over being universally liked as a team.
Australian cricket has been going through a tumultuous time off the field, as they continue to revamp their image post the infamous ball-tampering scandal in March this year. The results on the field, though, have been verging on disastrous as Australia went through one of their worst runs in recent years, especially in ODIs.
“Australian cricket, I think, need to stop worrying about being liked and start worrying about being respected,” Clarke told Macquarie Sports Radio. “Play tough Australian cricket, because whether we like it or not, that is in our blood.”
The 37-year-old, who was a vital cog in an all-conquering Australian team, stated that there was no substitute to winning games. “If you try and walk away from it....yeah, we might be the most liked team in the world, but we’re not going to win s**t, we won’t win a game. All we can want to do is want to win.”
The Border-Gavaskar trophy starts on December 6 and Australia’s form – their batting in particular – has been an area of concern in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner.
Clarke also spoke about the much-maligned Warner, who was one of the three players suspended by Cricket Australia. “What you see with Davey Warner is what you get and I think your greatest strength can be your greatest weakness,” he said.
“To me, I always loved having him in the team that I was captaining, because he brought that aggression that I wanted from a player. But in saying that, there was always a line. He knew that. David Warner gives it to certain blokes on the field, because he wants them to give it to him when he’s batting, because it’s like a turn-on. It makes him play better.”