Clarke credits 'intense preparation' to Test success
Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke feels a "team-first orientation of sustained pressure and sacrifice" led to his side's thumping triumph over India in the just-concluded Test series.
Australia whitewashed India 4-0 with just one Test going the full distance of five days. Clarke said the performance was a result of intense preparations.
"There has been no magic formula for our sustained success against India. One simple word sums up the reason why we dominated a series against some of the best players in the world -- preparation," Clarke wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
"...team-first orientation of sustained pressure and sacrifice is the foundation of great teams and if we can keep doing it we will be a great team one day," said the batsman, who was declared man of the series for scoring 626 runs in the four matches.
'Attitude to training also made the difference'
Clarke said the Australian team trained in match conditions to harden itself up.
"Our training has been unbelievable. We trained so hard I am not surprised we achieved such success given all the work we've put in. We're training like it's a game, always applying pressure. Our attitude to training has certainly improved out of sight," he said.
"So to be rewarded for all that effort by beating India 4-0 when they were the No.1 side in the world just a few months ago is something all the guys can be immensely proud of," he said. Clarke lauded the new players in the side for contributing their bit to the success.
"One of the most pleasing aspects of our performance has been the arrival of so many new players. Since I first took over as captain filling in for Ricky Ponting a little over a year ago we have had 10 new players wear the baggy green cap," he said.
Image: Clarke with coach Mickey Arthur
'Emphasis is all on the success of the team'
"This is exciting not only for the players involved but the whole of Australian cricket, to see such talent being developed and promoted through the first-class system," he added.
"There were long-term injuries to key players and yet those chosen to fill their spots stepped up seamlessly. That is because the emphasis is all on the success of the team, everyone doing their role."
However, Clarke warned against complacency and said bigger goals remained to be achieved before his team can truly be considered a great one.
"The reality is that despite our strong win over India we are still ranked No.4 in the world. This shows how much work we still need to do but there is no question we have taken a major step forward."Our first goal was consistency. We had played some really good cricket and some disappointing cricket leading into this series, however over the past month we have done a fair bit right," he said.
Image: Australian team celebrates