This must have been the toughest tour for Michael Clarke in his short career as captain -- the three defeats, the disciplinary issues with his team-mates and now the back injury that has flared up once again. Trying to keep his wits about him, the Aussie skipper addressed the media post their series loss here on Monday. Excerpts.
Did you believe you could win or did you think of delaying things to draw the match?
We still believed that we could win the Test. We thought there were going to be opportunities to take wickets, knowing that India were going to have to score at a decent pace. In that first hour when we went out and bowled, we could have taken as much time as possible, wasted time to slow the scoring and not bowl many overs because I knew once 3.30 came around, we had to bowl 15 overs in the last hour. But I don't think that's the way we play our cricket. We try to win and unfortunately that wasn't the case. We couldn't get a draw, so we deal with a loss. But I think our players deserve a lot of credit for the way they tried their best. Our fast bowlers worked their absolute backsides off and we were very close to hanging on for a draw.
What was your strategy while defending 132?
It was all about taking wickets. We had to try to win the Test match and even if you defend, the best form of defence is taking wickets. If you want to slow scoring, whether in T20, one-day cricket or Tests, taking wickets is the best way to slow the scoring and that was our goal. With 130 on the board you never know what can happen in this game but I think the boys showed a lot of fight and deserve credit for that.
What would you attribute Indian batsmen’s success to, they batted well or you bowled poorly?
Credit needs to go to Indian batsmen, that's for sure. As a batting unit that's what we're trying to do as well. We're making just as many fifties as India but nowhere near as many hundreds. We have to be more disciplined once we get to fifty, to stay nice and patient, swim between the flags I guess and go on and make a big score. But I think their batters throughout this series have made the most of conditions. Again in their first innings they are making big scores. I think in the last two Test matches we've shown if we can break that partnership, we've bowled really well.