Michael Clarkes return bolsters, Ponting, Australia

January 28th, 2009 - 1:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Perth, Jan.28 (ANI): Batsman and vice-captain Michael Clarke’’s return from injury will not only bolster a seriously depleted Australia team, but should soon give Ricky Ponting the chance to take a much-needed rest, reports The Australian.
Ponting has been superman as his team disintegrated around him this summer, playing all nine Tests, two Twenty20 games and four one-day matches in a relentless four-month stint on the road.
The captain’’s full attendance card comes despite a wrist operation during the middle of last year which hindered him badly at times in India, but has gradually improved, despite an ugly lump where a screw is helping hold the joint together. The only other player to carry the same workload is Mike Hussey, who has had a dreadful struggle for form during the home summer.
Injuries and the changing formats have forced Australia to use a staggering 26 players in that time, more than two full teams, with very modest success. There have been seven debutants including on-again-off-again, pocket dynamo David Warner, who made history by gaining national selection without a single first-class match.
Vice-captain Clarke is not only valuable because of his skill and experience, he should help shoulder some of the leadership load being carried by Ricky Ponting.
Ponting cannot rest at the moment because it would look like a captain deserting his sinking ship but if Australia, with some of its returning stars, can develop a lead over New Zealand in the following one-day series there will be a chance for the skipper to have a rest. (ANI)

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