Australia captain Michael Clarke said his batsmen, including himself, had to get more runs if they were to turn the Ashes tide on home soil later this year.
Current hosts England, who’d already retained the Ashes, took an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the five-match series with a dramatic 74-run win in the fourth Test at Chester-le-Street yesterday.
Australia, set 299 for victory, were well-placed at 120 for one at tea on the fourth day after openers Chris Rogers (49) and David Warner (71) had shared a stand of 109.
That made their subsequent collapse to 224 all out all the more painful, with England paceman Stuart Broad turning things around with six wickets for 50 runs on his way to a Test-best match haul of 11 for 121.
“I want our batters to get more runs. I’d like our batting to be stronger,” Clarke said.
“Our bowlers are doing a fantastic job – I don’t think we are making enough runs, it’s as simple as that.”
Clarke, who made a superb 187 in the drawn third Test at Old Trafford, included himself in the criticism after managing just 27 runs in total at Chester-le-Street.
“I am part of the batting unit – I am not different to any other batter in that order – my job is first and foremost to score runs and I only made 27 in this Test and that’s unacceptable,” said Clarke, clean bowled yesterday by a brilliant Broad delivery that clipped the top of off stump.
Australia have now gone eight Tests without a win, a sequence they will try to end in the final match of this series at The Oval in south London starting on August 21.
One consolation for Clarke’s men is that they won’t have long to wait for a chance to prize the urn away from England, with the next Ashes campaign starting in Australia in November.
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