To question my hunger kills me - Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke during a training session at Trent Bridge.
Michael Clarke during a training session at Trent Bridge.
©REUTERS / Action Images
 

Australian captain Michael Clarke, who has been struggling for runs in the ongoing Ashes, came down strongly on his critics by saying that his hunger for the game remains as strong as ever.

Clarke, who averages 28.07 in the last 12 months from eight games, has scored just one hundred during that period, while he did not enjoy a great time against Pakistan, West Indies and now England.

Currently trailing 2-1 in the Ashes campaign, Australia have not been able to bat consistently as a team, posting scores of 136 and 265 in the third Test at Edgbaston, which they lost by eight wickets.

While Clarke admitted that it is fine to question his performance, he absolutely rebuked those who questioned his hunger and desire for playing the game.

“But I’ve heard there have been a few articles questioning me for not having that hunger inside me. I think somebody said they could ‘see it in my eyes’ that I was finished after this series.

“That’s a complete load of rubbish. People can certainly have a shot at me about my performance, but they can’t have a shot at me about my desire.

“To question me on my hunger kills me, it absolutely kills me, because I pride myself on trying to get better every single day.” 

The 34-year-old Australian captain is seeing a steady decline in his batting average since 2013, averaging 47.52, 35.75 and 24.71 in the three successive years.

Having recently recovered from a career-threatening hamstring injury, Clarke cited the example of Chris Rogers, who is going strong at 37 years of age.

Admitting that performance is the only criteria that he will be judged on, Clarke expressed his desire to carry on playing for Australia after the Ashes.

“People are talking about how I’m going to retire after this series, well they don’t know me.

"Chris Rogers waited until 35 years of age to play his second Test.

“I’m 34, not 37, and I want to keep playing for Australia beyond this series, however, I will be judged on performance like everyone else.” 

Trailing the series 2-1, Australia will fight for survival when they take on England at Trent Bridge in the fourth Ashes Test, which will begin on 6th August. 

© Cricket World 2015