Player management key for Clarke

26 December 2012 10:15:52 UK

Captain Michael Clarke says Australia must move with the times and be prepared to leave players out if it is in their long-term interests.

The days of international teams keeping faith with the same 11 players, even if they are on a winning run, seem to be over in cricket.

I think we need to continue to manage our players as well as we can to make sure we can consistently put our best team on the park.

Michael Clarke.

And Clarke says the most important thing is managing players' careers and keeping them from being overloaded with work.

Australia has been badly hit by injuries in 2012, and the selection panel took the view that Mitchell Starc should be rested for the second Test at the MCG.

Clarke said: "It's not something we as Australians are used to (but) I think it's a reality of our sport now.

"I think we need to continue to manage our players as well as we can to make sure we can consistently put our best team on the park."

While acknowledging that selection has moved beyond purely picking the 11 players who are in the best form,
Clarke doesn't feel the game has moved to the same point as the English Premier League.

In that competition, rotation is a policy used by most teams to cope with a hectic schedule.

But Clarke said: "I'm not really sure if I like that word, 'rotation'. It's more player management than rotation. "It's not, 'You come in today, you're out tomorrow', it's not like that at all. It's about looking after the individual player, which in essence looks after the team.

"Mitchell Starc has done very well over the past couple of Test matches and has had a really big 12 months.

"But we're making decisions on Mitchell's career, we're making decisions on Mitchell playing a big part in the Australian team over the next 12 months.

"We tour India, we have one-day cricket, we have Twenty20 cricket, we have Ashes home-and-away (series), Champions Trophy. It's not a decision made on just this one Test match.

"We've got the youngest fast-bowling unit in the world. We're in a completely different situation to a lot of other teams and we've had a lot of injuries. We need to manage players as well as we possibly can.

"As disappointed as Mitchell is, in two months, six months, 12 months he might be thanking the high-performance team for saving his career."

Melbourne Stars are 8/11 to beat Adelaide Strikers, who are priced at 11/10.

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