Australia retain Clarke as Twenty20 captain

May 24th, 2010 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, May 24 (IANS) Despite the World Twenty20 loss, Australia have retained Michael Clarke as the Twenty20 captain not only for his leadership but as a kind of emergency parachute for the rest of the batting order.
There were no surprises Monday when National Selection Panel (NSP) chairman Andrew Hilditch named the squads for T20 and limited overs matches against Pakistan and England in Britain next month.

Hilditch praised Clarke the leader, and said as a batsman the 29-year-old was being given the chance to adapt to Twenty20 and felt that his quality would allow him to do so.

However, there was also a tacit approval of some of Clarke’s more leaden batting efforts while leading his country, as Hilditch explained that he believed someone had to be capable of batting through the innings, even when it lasted only 20 overs.

“We don’t have any doubt that he has a definite role to play in Twenty20 cricket, which predominantly is a little bit different to some. We’ll be looking for him to bat through an innings when we need it. He didn’t quite do that over there (in the World T20 in the Caribbean) but we weren’t concerned about it,” Hilditch was quoted as saying by Sydney Morning Herald.

“There will be times, particularly when we’re 3-8 in a final, that someone’s going to have to bat the 20 overs, which is what we would have liked Michael to do in the (world) final. But in the end result it didn’t quite work out that way. We don’t have any doubts he will be a very successful Twenty20 batsman,” he said.

Hilditch also suggested that Clarke will be welcome to the job of leading in all three formats for as long as he likes after Ricky Ponting retires.

“The positive side was I think his captaincy was extraordinary and our tactics in Twenty20 cricket were far in advance of where they’ve been,” Hilditch said of the Caribbean performance. “Our field was I thought the best in the tournament so there were lots of positives. Obviously we lost the final so that was devastating but the other side of it is that we won six on the trot and if we’d won seven on the trot it would have been a record that maybe wouldn’t have been broken in Twenty20 cricket,” Hilditch said.

Squads:

Australia ODI: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ryan Harris, James Hopes, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Clint McKay, Steve Smith, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

Australia Twenty20: Michael Clarke (captain), Cameron White (vice-captain), Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Dirk Nannes, Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Shane Watson.

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