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Start performing on all wickets: Clarke
Joe Barton
Monday, January 21, 2013

Australia's top order capitulations on seaming decks have forced captain Michael Clarke to concede his men need to start performing on all wickets - not just flat decks that favour batsmen.

With an Ashes tour on seam-friendly England wickets headlining a monster 18 months of cricket for Australia, the ability to play the moving ball has become a major headache.

Gentle Sri Lankan medium pacer Nuwan Kulasekara, who ripped Australia apart with five wickets in Friday night's humiliating total of 74 at the Gabba, again was on song in Sunday's SCG washout.

The 30-year-old finished with 3-30, including the prized scalp of Clarke (20) and opener Phil Hughes (1), again getting the ball to hoop into right-handers with great success.

The triple disappointments of the top order in Adelaide, where the hosts slumped to 6-83, the Gabba, where they were bowled out for their lowest total since 1986, and the SCG, where after 12.1 overs they were again struggling at 3-53, prompted Clarke to tell his teammates to overcome the perception they were simply flat track bullies.

"You need to be able to perform not just on good wickets but on tough wickets as well," he said.

"I think there's areas of our game that all of us need to improve especially when there's a bit of movement.

"The last three wickets have probably swung and seamed as much as I've seen in limited overs cricket, but that's not an excuse for poor performance.

"Our top four needs to find a way to set a platform to build a good total."

The bulk of Australia's runs came from the blades of opener David Warner (60) and tailender Mitchell Starc (52 not out off 37 balls) - both impressing Clarke.

"I thought Davey played really well. It's nice to see him make some more runs for us," he said.

"And I thought Mitchell Starc with the bat was outstanding as well."