Clarke under pressure to produce big victory
Australian Twenty20 skipper Michael Clarke will go into into today's Twenty20 International against Pakistan knowing only a resounding victory will keep his doubters at bay.
In a week when doubts have been cast about his Twenty20 captaincy Clarke faces a Pakistani side in complete disarray after losing the Test series 3-0 and the one day series 5-0.
The focus will be on Clarke at the MCG with the Australian public expecting another one sided encounter against a Pakistani team appearing ready to leave the country after a dreadful tour
The problem for Clarke is as bad as Pakistan have been during the summer they are the current Twenty20 World champions and they'll be fielding a far stronger team despite losing Shahid Afridi who was banned for two games after being found guilty of ball tampering during the 5th ODI in Perth last week.
With the Twenty20 World Cup less then 3 months away Clarke has got 5 Twenty20 internationals to build a team capable of winning the title in the Caribbean. The build up to the World Cup starts tonight at the MCG and were the Aussies to lose the voices questioning his place in the team will only get louder.
Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh has already suggested the skipper should stand down and and pass the role on to Cameron White.
Clarke has rejected the calls to stand down but he knows he will be under pressure.
"He (Waugh) is not the only one to say it and everyone is entitled to their opinion," Clarke said.
"I have been open and honest and said my performances in this form of the game have not been as good as I would have liked from the opportunities I have had."
"For me it's about batting the way I (normally) play," he said.
"I have done that in Test and one-day cricket and I have got enough shots, but it's about executing those shots and making sure I play the best I can. If I try and bat like somebody else, I know I will have no success."
"My strength is running between wickets so it's important I find the gaps.
"It's no sense me trying to hit every ball for six because that is not how I play my best cricket. I feel like I've got a lot of improvement in me in all forms of the game.
"For me personally, I'm looking to learn as much as I can about the game but in saying that, also be successful."