Clarke calls for more seaming wickets

Retiring Test skipper Michael Clarke has urged Cricket Australia to look at preparing wickets that will help young Australian batman learn to deal with seaming conditions in England.

Australia surrendered the Ashes meekly at Trent Bridge on Saturday having been bowled out for 60 in the first innings on day one and, aside from a crushing 405-run victory at Lord’s on a flat deck in the second Test, they have been dominated by the English attack.

In 2013, CA ordered curators at Test and first class venues to produce pitches that were more conducive to batting and spin and containing less grass following a number of low-scoring Sheffield Shield fixtures that ended in two days.

The move was also taken with a view towards improving the ability of players when they play on the sub-continent, with troubles against high-class spin bowling a long-standing issue for Australian players.

But Clarke, who’ll end his Test career in the fifth Test at The Oval later this month, said seaming wickets that can help a batsmen’s technique and give them an idea of what they can expect when they play in England is crucial to ending a run of series losses in the UK dating back to 2001.

“Maybe they have to do something with the first class wickets so guys can bat on them more,” Clarke told BBC radio.

“It’s hard work at the highest level and the only way you get better is to work your backside off.”

England coach Trevor Bayliss, who was at the helm of NSW until May, said the conditions faced by the Australian batsmen in England are completely alien due to the pitches they learn on at home.

“In Brisbane the ball does move around a bit but not to the degree it does here,” Bayliss said.

“Here, the ball comes off the wicket a little bit slower and we’ve seen some of the batters getting out in front because the ball isn’t coming on as much as you would see in Australia.

“It’s only the very best players in any international team (who) score runs away from home and I think the Australian team is in a bit of transition at the moment and the England bowlers are good enough to exploit those weaknesses.”

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