Australian skipper Clarke rubbishes talk of flat pitches

London, July 22 (IANS) Australia Test skipper Michael Clarke has said the current protestations about the pitches produced so far in the ongoing Ashes series are completely unjustified.

England won the first Test at Cardiff but Australia bounced back to win the second Test at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. The five-match series is level at 1-1 at present. The third Test begins in Birmingham at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on July 29.

Curators at Cardiff and Lord’s have been criticised for what many have deemed “lifeless” wickets, with England coach Trevor Bayliss even suggesting such pitches played into Australia’s hands.

Clarke, however, believes much has been made about the nature of wickets, citing they produced results.

“I’ve never cared too much about the pitches, because I’ve always thought if you’ve got good bowlers you’ll find a way to take 20 wickets,” Clarke was quoted as saying by website on Tuesday.

“It’s funny, Cardiff and Lord’s were both spoken about, saying the wicket was too flat, yet we’ve just had two Test matches that have only gone four days each.”

Clarke insisted that the relative unknown of pitch conditions was simply another facet of Test cricket, and one that should continue at all venues worldwide.

“I’m unsure what they’re going to try and prepare now (for the third Test in Edgbaston), and that’s part of playing international cricket and travelling around the world – of course you’re not going to make the wickets like they are in Australia,” he said.

“England have to have the wickets how they’re comfortable, India have the wickets how they’re comfortable, and we have what we have in Australia,” Clarke concluded.

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