Clarke asks team to 'pull out all stops' to level ODI series
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Australian skipper Michael Clarke has asked his teammates to pull out all stops to level the one-day series against England, but faces pressure to do the same at the selection table.
Australia's middle order failed to counter the pressure built up by England's lethal pace quartet during their 15-run loss in the series opener at Lord's.
Chasing 273 for victory, Australia slumped from 1-96 in the 19th over to 5-147 in the 33rd over with David Hussey (13 off 29) and Steve Smith (8 off 13) in particular being unable to overcome the pressure.
England has now won seven successive ODIs, and they have won the last six home series in this format.
Clarke hopes Smith with his unorthodox stroke play will fill the role played by finishers Michael Bevan and Mike Hussey, The Courier Mail reports.
Reserve batsman Peter Forrest, No.3 George Bailey or No.7 Matthew Wade could slot in at No.6 with England targeting a 5-0 whitewash that would earn them the No.1 one-day ranking.
"It is not five trial games, we are here to win. My goal is to pick the best XI and we will do that at The Oval. I don''t care which players take the field. We will look at areas to improve," Clarke said.
Clarke's on-field tactics have been inspirational and innovative since succeeding Ricky Ponting as skipper but team makeup on tour will be scrutinised against old rivals England 12 months before the Ashes.
Australia must also decide whether to rest Pat Cummins and allow James Pattinson at The Oval.
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