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Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 10:02 UK

Clarke hardened by 2005 struggle

By Sarah Holt

Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting share a joke
Clarke has been tipped as a future successor to Ricky Ponting

Australia batsman Michael Clarke says his 2005 Ashes experience has helped him become a more determined cricketer.

His 91 at Lord's in the first Test helped Australia to a 239-run win, but he never matched that performance in the rest of the memorable series.

His form dipped further in Australia's next Test series against West Indies and he soon lost his place in the side.

"I think as a person and as a cricketer I've grown up and matured a lot more," he told BBC Sport.

"I learned a lot from being a young guy to being vice-captain of the Australian cricket team."

Clarke announced his arrival in the Test arena with a match-winning 151 on debut against India in Bangalore in 2004, cementing his place for the Ashes series the following year.

But despite his promising start to the 2005 series, he managed just one further half century from seven innings against England.

However, Clarke, now 28, is keen to share his knowledge from his previous visit to England with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Phillip Hughes, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus, who have yet to experience the intensity of an Ashes series.

I'm very lucky to have such a strong and good leader who has been guiding me

Michael Clarke

"For me as a young guy I really learned about how you want to play Test cricket and I think both teams played very hard on the field but we got on well off the field," he said.

"Some of the fondest memories I have of that tour are sitting in the changing room after a tough day's play and talking to Andrew Flintoff and Michael Vaughan.

"For a young kid, that's amazing. That's the one thing from my experiences in 2005 that I've tried to pass on to a few of the young guys who haven't played Test cricket over here.

"England and Australia have a relationship that we play very hard against each other on the field but off it we get on very well.

"It's a great thing for both teams and for the representation of Test cricket and international sport and of how I love to play this game."

Clarke will have extra responsibility on this tour having taken over the vice-captain duties from Adam Gilchrist at the start of 2008.


The Sydney-born batsman has been touted as a future successor to Ricky Ponting, although Clarke admits he still has plenty to learn from his captain.

"It's is about supporting Ricky 100% and listening and learning to what he has to give not only to the team but to me as vice-captain," he said.

"I'm very lucky to have such a strong and good leader who has been guiding me and who I've been close to and tried to learn from.

"That's probably given me the opportunity to be involved in the meetings and to help and support him in whatever decisions he tries to make."

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see also
Hussey ton helps Aussies recover
01 Jul 09 |  Australia
Siddle benefits from coach Cooley
29 Jun 09 |  Australia
England omit Vaughan and Harmison
22 Jun 09 |  England
Hopkinson ton frustrates Aussies
27 Jun 09 |  Australia
Hughes and Clarke punish Sussex
26 Jun 09 |  Australia
Aussie coach dismisses spin issue
26 Jun 09 |  England
Gilchrist sees Ashes as open duel
25 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Injured Watson stays with Aussies
24 Jun 09 |  Australia
England lack intensity - Cooley
31 Dec 06 |  England
Cooley will not pass on secrets
14 Apr 06 |  England
Cooley blames ECB for departure
17 Dec 05 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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