Michael Clarke: Australia needed a bit more attitude to defeat India in Brisbane

Australia needed more “attitude” from the first to the last ball while tackling India in the fourth Test in Brisbane, according to former captain Michael Clarke.

Michael Clarke refused to exclusively target Tim Paine (centre) for the defeat. - GETTY IMAGES

Australia needed more “attitude” from the first to the last ball while tackling India in the fourth Test in Brisbane, according to former captain Michael Clarke.

Clarke said it was the negative mindset that pegged Australia back in the Test series and consigned it to a 2-1 defeat against India.

“I thought we might have been a tad negative at certain stages throughout because we were scared to lose versus attack hard and look to win the game,” Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast.

“At the end of the day, whether we lost with 20 overs left in the game or on the last ball of the game, it didn’t matter. We had to win that game to win that trophy. I sort of feel we should have approached the first ball of that game to the last ball of that game with a bit more of that attitude.”

Clarke refused to blame Tim Paine for the defeat. He said there was a time when the buck stopped with the captain but it should not be the case any more since there were other professionals who called the shots in the Australian set-up.

“When I played cricket, when I grew up watching my father ... the captain was accountable in the teams I played in. Through that transition of me captaining Australia, that changed. There had become a chairman of selectors that had more pull, there had become a high performance manager that had more pull, there had become a head coach who had more pull,” he said.

“So now, who is driving the bus? This is my point.”

Former pacer Brett Lee too jumped to Paine’s defence.

“I think since he’s taken over the captaincy he’s shown real good leadership qualities,” Lee told foxsports.com.au.

'Can't fault him'

“And look, there’s been a lot written about Tim Paine behind the stumps. He’s grassed a few chances, but who hasn’t? You look at all the keepers in history and I’m sure there would be plenty who had leaner periods behind the stumps. With the bat, you can’t fault him. He goes along with Marnus Labuschagne as having one of the best techniques in the team. He stood up and took on the Indian players,” he said.

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Lee said he did not find anything wrong with Paine’s style of captaincy.

“His captaincy has been really good. As I said, in Sydney there were maybe a few other things he could have tried, but put yourself in that situation — he’s under the pump, he’s had a few players go down as well, there’s chances (gone begging) when they’re trying to take those last five wickets,” he said.

“(He’s a) brilliant keeper, his batting has been outstanding, and his captaincy really sound.”

Paine, after the defeat on Tuesday, said he wanted to continue as leader of the team since he had some “unfinished business” to settle.