Sydney - Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that he will not 'muzzle' his players and ban them from talking about the Ashes after pacer James Pattinson revealed the bowlers' plan to 'open up' England by targeting their captain and best batsman Alastair Cook.
Clarke's comment came in the wake of the action taken by England coach Andy Flower, who has warned his players that they will face disciplinary action if they shift focus from the Test series against New Zealand and the ICC Champions Trophy to talk publicly about the Ashes, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Stating that he has no such concerns, Clarke has encouraged his troops to keep talking and tweeting as the Champions Trophy and Australia A squads prepare to depart for Britain this weekend, adding that in the Australian team, they allow people to be themselves.
According to Clarke, although his players understand the boundaries of social media and are careful not to overstep the mark, they, however, are not restricted to talk about the Ashes.
Taking licence from Clarke's big-hearted allowance by making an early aim at Cook, young Australian paceman James Pattinson said that the important thing for their team is Cook as he is England's star batsman and captain for which they want to take advantage of his weaknesses and get him out as early as possible.
Foreshadowing a new approach, bowler Peter Siddle said that unlike the past, if they stick to being consistent in the way they know best, they can build pressure on Cook, who averages 50 against Australia.
According to the report, the Australians have also been monitoring Cook's opening partner Nick Compton, who has made two centuries in his first eight Tests, and young middle order batsmen Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, one of whom is expected to make way for Kevin Pietersen if he proves his fitness before the Ashes.\