x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Clarke has 'got to score more runs' after another Australian Ashes defeat

Australia captain rues not being able to bat Australia to what seemed like sure victory in Durham as England now lead series 3-0.

Michael Clarke was bowled out for 21 just as Australia were looking good to win in Durham.
Michael Clarke was bowled out for 21 just as Australia were looking good to win in Durham.

CHESTER-LE-STREET // Captain Michael Clarke pointed the finger at his own batting failures after Australia threw away a winning position to lose the fourth Ashes Test to England by 74 runs on Monday.

Chasing 299 for victory, Australia were in a strong position at 109 for nought but Stuart Broad turned the tables with a dynamic fast bowling performance that earned him figures of six for 50.

"I've got to score more runs," Clarke told reporters after he was clean bowled by Broad for 21. "I am part of the batting unit, I am no different to any other batter in that order.

"My job is first and foremost to score runs and I only made 27 in this Test and that's unacceptable.

"I guess in the past I have taken losses personally especially when you make no runs yourself," added Clarke as his side went 3-0 down in the five-match series.

"I've said for a long time I want to be leading from the front as a player first and foremost."

Clarke, who has had a generally disappointing series with the bat despite scoring a century during the third-Test draw in Manchester, said he took heart from the fine displays by his openers in Durham.

Chris Rogers made 110 and 49 while fellow left-hander David Warner looked, for long spells in the second innings, as if he was going to lead Australia to victory with a belligerent 71.

"It's nice to have Rogers and Warner making runs," said Clarke. "Chasing 299 in the last innings of a test match is always going to be difficult, there is no doubt about that.

"I don't think today was about forgetting how to win, I just think a good bowler [Broad] got his back up and got momentum with it and we couldn't stop him.

"I can't fault the belief in the guys or their will to try and win. Everybody's attitude is brilliant."

Clarke was also gushing in his praise of injury-prone pace bowler Ryan Harris, who took a Test-best seven for 117 to bowl out England for 330 in their second innings.

"Ryan Harris with the ball has been exceptional, he continues to perform and amaze," said Clarke.

"To get out on the park firstly and then to perform. I think we can take a lot of positives from that but it's tough to be sitting here losing another test match to be honest."

The Australia captain acknowledged his side had been outplayed by England but said they would do their level best to improve as a squad in time for the return series at home later in the year.

"We've got a couple of months I guess, all I can ask from the players is they try and get better every day," said Clarke.

"We are working exceptionally hard and that is all we can keep doing."

The fifth and final Test of this series at The Oval, London, begins on August 21.

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