Clarke is the man declares Punter
MICHAEL Clarke’s proudest day is about to arrive: captain, Australian cricket team.
Turning 30 on April 2, Clarke will be Australia’s 43rd Test skipper. The NSW righthander will depart next week to oversee a three-match one-day series in Bangladesh, his Test reign starting in Sri Lanka this August.
‘‘ He’s probably reasonably excited, the fact that I’m doing what I am doing,’’ outgoing skipper Ricky Ponting said of Clarke. ‘‘ He has done a terrific job in almost every game he has had a chance to captain Australia, starting with the Twenty20 team, I thought he did a great job there.
‘‘ So I totally would endorse Michael Clarke as the next captain.’’
Recently quitting the Twenty20 captaincy and format, Clarke boasts fine mid40s batting averages in the longer forms of the game. He’s led Australia in 24 one-dayers already, for 18 wins and six losses, and says there’s a myth about his lack of popularity with the cricketing public.
‘‘ People are entitled to their own opinion,’’ Clarke told a newspaper during the World Cup. Clarke will control rebuilding outfits, regardless of how long Ponting bats on.
By the 2015 World Cup, Australia could have just three survivors from this year’s campaign – Clarke, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson. Similarly, he’ll captain a Test side stuck at fifth in the world and needing rejuvenation.