Chennai: From the time Michael Clarke made a memorable Test debut against India at Bengaluru in 2004 with an impressive 151, the Australian has grown from strength to strength.
The stylish batsman has tormented the bowling attack whenever he was up against the Indians. When the two teams last met down under, Clarke led his side to a 4-0 whitewash with astonishing displays of batting at Sydney (careerhigh 329 not out) and at Adelaide (210).
On coming back to the country where his Test journey began:
It's always exciting to come to India as I've always enjoyed playing here. The main reason for that is people of India love the game of cricket. It is a special place for me because I made my Test debut here and I have so many fond memories. I suppose it's more special to come back as a captain.
On his career so far: It's been up and down. I guess -some good times, when the team has had a lot of success and I have scored some runs, and some tough times, when I have been dropped from the Test team and I didn't know if I was going to get back into the team. Now the positive is that the team is playing well and I am able to captain Australia.
On conditions here: IPL has certainly changed the comfort level of the players. Players know what the conditions are like when they come to India. The IPL has also been fantastic in that it has built relationships between players all around the world.
On shielding youngsters: Being a senior player, not just the captain, it is part of your responsibility. The responsibility is on some of us who have played a lot of Tests to stand up and lead from the front, make sure the youngsters are taken along. So it's part of my job to make sure I help them and as much as anything, be there for them through the good times and the tough times.
On Gambhir’s absence: I expected him to be in the Test the Test team. He is a wonderful player and has been for India for a long time now. I think there are a few bowlers in our team who are happy he is not playing. If he scores runs, I'm sure he will get his chance with the Indian team again.
No pre-series salvos?
It's not about what you say, it's about what you do on the field. As a player, as the Australian cricket team, that's our goal. It's no good making statements and comments and not backing them up. I'd rather people say less and do more, so that's our goal. Perform well on the field, that's all we say.
Source : DC