Clarke goes down memory lane

HARARE - Australia captain Michael Clarke, battling to recover in time for the tri-series ODI opener, hopes to emulate heroics of the past decade when he scored his maiden one-day century against Zimbabwe.

The Aussies, the top ranked ODI side, square off with hosts Zimbabwe in the three-team series at Harare Sports Club this morning and Clarke was still to undergo a fitness test yesterday afternoon to establish whether he would be fit for today’s clash.

“I’ve woken up ok. I don’t think I’ll know how exactly I feel until I’ve had some physical stuff. They’ll probably give me until tomorrow to allow me maximum time to recover but personally I’ll know if I’m ready after today’s training session (yesterday),” Clarke told reporters.

“I haven’t been here for 10 years, 2004 was my last time here so I’m really excited to be back. I have got some great memories here. I scored my first one day 100 against Zimbabwe in 2004 so it’s really nice to be back.”

The Australian skipper said the clash against minnows Zimbabwe, who are ranked 10th in ODI cricket, would be just as good as every match they play and would be looking forward to field their strongest squad.

“It’s about winning. I would like to pick the best 11 for the opposition and conditions we are playing in and try to win every game we play,” he said.

“I have said this before, there’s no Australian game on our tour that’s a token tour. You turn out to play your best cricket, to have success so I would like the selectors to pick what they feel is the best 11 to help us have success. If that means everybody has a game then so be it. But if it means the same 11 play every game, that’s the way it is as well.”

Clarke also said his team is prepared for battle on any wicket considering that the one-off Test match between Zimbabwe and South Africa offered very little for the seamers but plenty for the spinners.

“I don’t blame them if they do make the wicket slow... we’ve got Nathan Lyon as our number one spinner and obviously Glen Maxwell has done a fantastic role for us in the shorter format of the game,” added Clarke.

“Steve Smith can bowl leg spin and hopefully I can bowl some few part-timers as well. I haven’t seen the wicket but whatever is produced we have got a good squad to combat that.”

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