Michael Clarke believes Australia's testimony run chase against England was the ideal homework for the World Cup where great totals are going to take over the tournament. Clarke hit 82 off 70 balls as Australia reached 334 with four balls to spare in their penultimate match before leaving for the subcontinent.
To make Clarke's night even sweeter his choice to promote Mitchell Johnson to No. 4 paid off as he hit 57 to keep up Australia's early energy after a quick opening stand. It was Johnson's second fifty in ODI cricket although Clarke admitted he hadn't fairly followed his orders to the letter.
"If the ball was in his region batting from the bottom end towards the short boundary I told him to back himself. Mitch thought he'd go the other way and hit towards the long boundary but he vacant the chains. He played a really good innings through the Power play then rotated the strike really well in the heart when they had five fielders out."
Clarke also hinted that it may be a course Australia use in the future with Johnson's skill to attack the spinners an eye-catching view on the subcontinent where slow bowlers are predictable to play a key part.
"It shows if you give guys a chance they clutch it with both hands. I think Mitch, all through the World Cup, is going to play a big part not just with the ball but also the bat, being a left-hander, hitting the ball as well as he does and playing spin cute well."
Days are swiftly looking much rosier for Clarke after back-to-back half-centuries in Brisbane and Sydney plus Australia being 5-1 up under his control. He also left the field to a standing praise today as his home crowd warmed to his hard work after a tricky season. Clarke has never wavered in his belief that hard work and pledge would eventually bring results and is starting to feel blameless.
"I've not altered my game, I've not changed my preparation, I feel like I've worked my complete backside off the whole summer," he said. "It's just nice to get a number of runs in the last game and add again tonight.