AUSTRALIA captain Michael Clarke says he remains just as confident of reclaiming the Ashes as when his team arrived in England, despite yesterday's morale-crushing first Test defeat to England.
The tourists were just 15 runs from victory at Trent Bridge thanks to defiant batting from Brad Haddin, yet England grabbed a dramatic 1-0 series lead when a decision by third umpire Marias Erasmus finally ended the 10th wicket stand.
“I’m as confident as I was when we landed here. We get another crack in four days so we’ll look forward to that,” said Clarke, remaining upbeat.
“I think our boys should hold their heads high. Haddin deserves a lot of credit for fighting so hard; and the other guys who batted with him did a fantastic job as well. All Australians would have loved to have seen a different result, but you’re not going to get many better Test matches than what we’ve just seen.”
Haddin added 71 runs as Australia chased an unlikely target of 311. Yet the wicketkeeper was dismissed shortly after lunch when, with the visitors on 296-9, a review showed that Haddin had nicked a James Anderson ball through and into Matt Prior’s gloves.
The second match of the five-Test series starts this Thursday at Lord’s.