Chris Rogers has done everything that I've asked: Michael Clarke
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Australia captain Michael Clarke was left to thank his bowlers and centurion Chris Rogers for the hosts' escape in the fourth Ashes Test on Sunday, having risked his team's winning streak by opting to bowl first after winning the toss.
Australia completed a dominant win by eight wickets at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday to take a 4-0 lead in the series but Clarke admitted his decision had haunted him throughout the match.
Credited for his aggressive captaincy and his setting of imaginative fields, Clarke has also shown himself a dab hand at calling the toss, winning it all four times in the series to date.
He had resolutely played the percentages up until Melbourne, putting his team in to bat in the three previous victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
Clarke and his backroom colleagues gleaned something in the MCG's green-tinged pitch and overcast conditions in the morning that few others did, but immediately revealed his discomfort with the decision in a television interview after sending his team into the field on day one.
The queasy feeling can only have grown stronger as England survived to stumps at 226-6, with the hosts' best batsman Kevin Pietersen leading from the front.
"When you win the toss and bowl, the result always dictates whether you'll be criticised or applauded," Clarke told reporters.
"Was it the right decision or not? Well the result will say yes, but after the first five overs on day one, the wicket certainly played better than I expected it to.
"It certainly wasn't our bowlers I was second guessing, it was more the fact that I was hoping that the grass on the wicket and the overhead conditions were going to do a little more than they did."
Fortunately for Clarke, man-of-the-match Mitchell Johnson intervened early on day two, tearing through the England tail to finish with five wickets and wrap up their innings for 255.
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