Clarke is the man de­clares Punter

Townsville Bulletin - - Cricket -

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.

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