MARGINALISED fast bowler Stuart Clark confirmed he has received no feedback from selectors on his performance at Headingley, despite national selection chairman Andrew Hilditch publicly declaring he remained at best fourth in the pecking order of Australian pacemen.
Clark, whose place is in doubt for the deciding Ashes Test at The Oval next week, believes Hilditch may have made an error answering a question from the media and hopes to discuss the comments with the selection boss after the tour.
”He probably got asked a question [and] he probably answered it, didn’t realise what he’d said,” Clark said. ”Sometime in the future, when I do see Andrew again, maybe over a quiet drink we’ll talk about it, but I’m really not fussed about it either way. I think you always feel like you’ve got something to prove. You never feel as though you can just sit there and play.
”I always feel like I’ve got something to prove, whether it’s not to anyone else than myself, that I can keep doing it … as you get older, it gets harder.”
Hilditch told reporters that despite Clark’s impressive three-wicket haul in Leeds, which sparked an English collapse, he remained behind Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus in selectors’ minds for the fifth match. Clark replaced spinner Nathan Hauritz for the fourth Test but the NSW tweaker will have strong claims on a deck expected to favour slow bowlers on the last two days.
”The reality is we’ve played on very dry wickets and [spinner] Nathan Hauritz has had a very important role to play. Probably the first opportunity to consider playing four quicks was in Headingley and Stuart Clark got the nod,” Hilditch said after the fourth Test. ”And he did a good job, but the other three bowled exceptionally well as well and took more wickets, so I think we’ll go into the fifth Test with those three fast bowlers [being] our leading bowlers at the moment.”
Clark has a phenomenal average of 18.44 against England and said the key was simplicity.
”I enjoy playing against England. I have had a little bit of success, I probably feel comfortable when I do play against them,” he said. ”I have a pretty simple plan and I try to keep it simple and it seems to be working.”