Ashes 2013-14: Green Sydney wicket could force changes for Michael Clarke as the Australia captain targets whitewash

Clarke admits that he doesn't know his own side just yet, let alone England's after SCG pitch is left with a lot of grass on the strip ahead of final Ashes Test

Australia captain Michael Clarke is prepared to put pragmatism before romance in order to inflict a 5-0 whitewash on England.

Clarke acknowledges the temptation to try to field an unchanged, winning team throughout the Ashes series - set to conclude in Sydney.

But he knows too that Australia's selectors will not do so without first assuring themselves those same 11 players who proved too good for England in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne are the same ones best suited to prevailing conditions at the SCG.

Clarke is not about to overreact at this stage to an untypically green tinge in the surface at his home ground, where spin is traditionally a basic requirement for a balanced attack.

With all-rounder Shane Watson able to bowl in the nets, despite the groin trouble he had in Australia's victory in Melbourne last week, even on a 'greentop' the hosts can therefore have four seam options - leaving room for off-spinner Nathan Lyon to be retained.

Clarke said: "I think it would be extremely romantic [to stick with same team].

"But you've got to pick the best 11 players to help you have success in the conditions you're playing.

"If conditions turn out to be similar to what they have been in the past four Test matches, then I think the selectors will go that way."

He acknowledged, however, the unfamiliar appearance of the Test strip - one which meant he was unable to name his own team, and also England's.

Clarke has made a habit in this series of reeling off England's likely line-up, not unerringly but with some success, on the eve of each Test.

This time, he said: "That's as much grass as I've seen on an SCG pitch.

"Looking at it today, I think it would certainly suit the fast bowlers, but ... I think the forecast is pretty warm for the week, so I still believe spin will play a part throughout the Test match."

Asked about the two team sheets, he added: "I don't have either. It's a sad day, isn't it?

"I have given it some thought, but I think the wicket will determine what England do."

There are strong hints that England may field as many as three debutants on Friday, as they try to avoid that 5-0 whitewash.

Clarke can empathise with the tourists, having led his team to a 3-0 series defeat in England just last summer.

"When you're not performing well as a team, [everyone] seems to notice everything," he said.

"When you're winning, you get away with murder. Everything seems to be covered over.

"You don't mean to drop catches; you don't mean to make no runs.

"We all get out of bed every day and train as hard as we do to try to perform - but it's a tough game."

Clarke still remembers the boos which came his way from the home crowd when England were winning down under three years ago.

Times have changed, but he is not about to forget - or pretend there will not be difficult days ahead again at some point.

"To ride the highs and lows makes you enjoy the success you have," he said.

"You need to find a way to get through the tough times, and then there's the other side - when you perform well, and the team does well, and the same people that booed you stand and applaud.

"That's obviously a very special feeling.

"I've copped a fair bit of stick, but even through that time I've had a lot of support from family and close friends.

"That's what probably makes this series so special to the team and me personally - a thank you to the people who have supported us."

It will be all the sweeter for him then if Australia can win again here, and he is confident he has the right men on his side to help them do that.

"I think that desire burns within every single player in the changing room," Clarke said.

"I think we showed (that) with the way we played at the MCG. This Test is no different."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum