Blogs & Opinion


Ashes 2013: Michael Clarke captained well on day two at Old Trafford

Nasser Hussain - Nasser Hussain Posted 2nd August 2013 view comments

Michael Clarke showed his nous not only as a batsman at Old Trafford but also as a skipper.

That was the view of Sky Sports pundit Nasser Hussain after Clarke amassed 187 runs to help propel his side to a first-innings total of 527-7 declared, and then saw his "patient" captaincy restrict England to a score of 52-2 at sumps on day two of the third Ashes Test.

Clarke: showed batting and captaincy skills on day two of third Test

Clarke: showed batting and captaincy skills on day two of third Test

Click here for our day two report

"I enjoyed Clarke's captaincy in that little session [before the close]," Hussain told Sky Sports Ashes.

It's not a pitch you are going to blast someone away on, so you have to build pressure and that's what Clarke did really well.

Nasser Hussain
Quotes of the week

"Sometimes when a captain has 550 runs to play with they go out there with three slips, two gullies, and a short leg and the bowler loses the plot, tries to take a wicket and gets giddy - but Australia sat in, were very patient and joined the dots.

"It's not a pitch you are going to blast someone away on, so you have to build pressure and that's what Clarke and his bowlers did really well.

"You'd take 50-odd in 30 overs with two wickets down every day on a pitch like this."

Odd

Hussain was also left bemused by England's decision to send in Tim Bresnan as a night watchman when Joe Root was removed by Peter Siddle half-an-hour before the close of play.

But did explain why he thought the Yorkshireman opted against reviewing his dismissal when he was adjudged caught behind by visiting wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, despite replays showing the ball clipped his trousers.

On Bresnan's introduction, which Sky Cricket analyst Shane Warne suggested 'sent out the message that England were a bit worried', Hussain said: "I thought that it was odd.

"Bresnan is a very good player and can bat for a long time - he batted for three hours and eight minutes at Lord's - but the cut-off point [for a night watchman] is generally 15-20 minutes. He came out, though, England went 50-2 and Australia had the better of the day.

"And Bresnan's problem [with his dismissal] was that he would have been thinking: 'I'm a bowler who bats a bit and I can't use up a review with these gun players, like Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen, still to come so I will walk off' - but he should have used it."

Warne, meanwhile, believes England, who lead the five-match contest 2-0 following wins at Trent Bridge and Lord's, will recover from the late exits of Root and Bresnan and score big on day three.

But he thinks Clarke, whose century was the first by an Australian in the 2013 Ashes and the 24th of his Test career, will try to use all of his wisdom to stymie the hosts' charge

"I think Australia are in a good position and England are in a tough one - but if the sun shines tomorrow they should be able to go out there and make a lot of runs," said the legendary leg-spinner.

"However, Clarke has a lot of imagination as captain and we will see some funky fields and hopefully, for the sake of the Ashes, we see some quick wickets."

Post to your View!

Be the first to post a comment on this story

Add Comment*

Send us your views

Are you a Sky Sports subscriber?

*All fields required, your email address will be kept private

back to top

Other Cricket Experts:

Latest Posts in Cricket:

Latest News RSS feeds

Cook loses ODI captaincy

Alastair Cook will not captain England at the World Cup, according to Sky sources.

Australia v India live!

Follow our over-by-over updates from day four of the second Test at the Gabba. Watch live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

KP keen to play under Morgan

Kevin Pietersen has paid tribute to Eoin Morgan and revealed he hopes to play under him one day.

Willis: Right for Cook to go

Bob Willis says England were right in taking the decision to drop Alastair Cook now rather than closer to the World Cup.

Hussain: Morgan's the man

Eoin Morgan is the right man to revitalise England’s World Cup bid if he's named as ODI captain, says Nasser Hussain.

Features

England's Cricket World Cup squad: Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton pick their squads

England's Cricket World Cup squad: Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and Mike Atherton pick their squads

It’s crunch time for England ahead of the Tri- Series against Australia and India and the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.

English players in the Big Bash: Flintoff, Pietersen, Hales and more ready to shine

English players in the Big Bash: Flintoff, Pietersen, Hales and more ready to shine

The Big Bash League kicks off again this week – and there will be plenty of English participation.

Big Bash 2014-15: Michael Carberry ready for debut with Perth Scorchers

Big Bash 2014-15: Michael Carberry ready for debut with Perth Scorchers

Michael Carberry was ready to board a plane to Perth this time 12 months ago. Not with England, but to join Scorchers for a season in the Big Bash League.