Apr 242013

Captain Michael Clarke says he’s confident his Ashes side can bring the urn home, despite British media claiming it’s Australia’s worst team.

“I’ve been hearing comments like that throughout my time as captain and, more often than not, I’d like to think we’ve proven our critics wrong,” Clarke has written in News Ltd newspapers.

“I’m not going to make any Glenn McGrath-style predictions about the Ashes result, but I will say that I’m confident we can bring the urn home with us if we play to our potential.”

Clarke hailed the return of Chris Rogers as reserve batsman in the 16-man squad heading to England five-and-a-half years after playing his one and only test.

“He has played more than 100 games, scored almost 10,000 runs and averaged close to 55 in English conditions,” Clarke said.

“This is obviously a huge tour for Australian cricket and to be in a position to call a batsman into the squad with that kind of experience is a huge asset for us.”

Clarke described Brad Haddin as “the kind of guy who won’t be burdened by the vice-captaincy or the intensity of an Ashes series.

“He’s a leader, he absolutely loves the heat of battle and he is just the kind of guy you want beside you in an Ashes series.”

Clarke also said he’d accepted Shane Watson’s decision to stand down as vice-captain.

“Shane Watson called me from India last week to inform me he was standing down from the vice-captaincy. I asked him whether he had made up his mind or was still contemplating the move and he told me he had definitely decided to hand over the vice-captaincy.

“As his captain and friend I accepted his decision, and from there it was up to the board and selectors to appoint a new vice-captain. In Hads, I’m convinced they came up with the right man for the job.”


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