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Clarke not bothered by boos

Posted By: Pti

Melbourne, Jan 31 (AFP) Embattled Australian captainMichael Clarke said he had no concerns about being booed bylocal fans in the one-day international win against England atBrisbane''s Gabba ground.

Clarke received a harsh response from the home fans whenhe came out to bat in the match, which Australia won by 51runs to secure the seven-match series by taking an unbeatable4-1 lead.

The 29-year-old went on to top score for Australia with54 in a sign of a return to form and after the match said hewas not bothered by the boos.

"Obviously you would like people to be cheering but I canunderstand why a few of them are booing," he said.

"I haven''t performed as well as I would like so I don''tblame the public for being disappointed with my performances.

"It was nice to finally contribute and help the boys geta win -- it''s a great feeling."

He hit ODI debutant Steve Finn for successive fours earlyin his innings to break the shackles of uncertainty on his wayto scoring only his second half-century for Australia thisseason.

The right-hander has struggled in all forms of the gameand stepped down from the captaincy of the Australian Twenty20team because of his poor form.

He made just 193 runs at 21.44 in the Ashes Test series,and had scored 70 runs at 17.50 in the ODI series beforeSunday.

But his captaincy record in ODIs is strong, with 17 winsand just six defeats.

Although he said he "wouldn''t dare" declare the slump wasover, Clarke said he never doubted he would turn his formaround.

"I felt I had been hitting the ball pretty well -- I feltI was getting there," he said.

"It was just nice tonight to get off to a faster startwhich allowed me to not stress about how many balls I wasfacing, and just keep batting."

Both teams emerged from the match with fresh injuryworries. Australian batsman Shaun Marsh, who made a sparklingcentury batting at six in the second game of the series, butwho has failed in all three innings at number three, hurt ahamstring and was unable to field.

The injury-plagued Marsh was not named in Australia''sWorld Cup squad, but is on standby for wounded veterans MikeHussey (hamstring) and Ricky Ponting (finger).

Emerging England paceman Ajmal Shahzad, part of England''sWorld Cup squad, also hurt his hamstring while bowling,pulling up sore late in the Australian innings.

He bowled four more deliveries after pulling up, but thenlimped from the field at the end of the over. Chris Tremlettalso missed Sunday''s match with a side strain. (AFP) PM

Story first published: Monday, January 31, 2011, 12:15 [IST]
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