Australian news January 7, 2011

Clarke quits Twenty20, Cameron White new captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Clarke's reign as Test captain might just be starting but his time as Twenty20 leader has ended. Clarke announced after the Ashes loss at the SCG that he would stand down from the role and will not play Twenty20, instead preferring to concentrate on regaining form in the five- and one-day arenas.

Cameron White has been named as Australia's captain for the two Twenty20 games against England next week, with Tim Paine confirmed as his deputy. The squad also includes Brett Lee, who will represent Australia for the first time since October 2009, as well as the uncapped Aaron Finch and James Pattinson.

Clarke struggled to keep pace with the demands of the shortest game because his technically correct batting was more suited to the longer formats. In 32 T20 internationals he had a strike-rate of 103, or slightly better than a run a ball, well below the output expected of a top-order player.

"I'm retiring from international Twenty20 cricket," Clarke said. "I guess, looking back on this series, my Test cricket isn't where I want it at the moment. This gives me the opportunity to focus wholly and solely on Test cricket and one-day and to use that time to play more domestic or first-class cricket for New South Wales and become a better Test player.

"For me, I've always said Test cricket is the ultimate for me. This gives me that opportunity. In saying that, obviously my T20 performances haven't been that great, which made the decision that much easier."

He captained the side in 18 matches and won 12 times, with the highlight being taking Australia to the final of the World Twenty20 in the West Indies in May. England beat Australia on that occasion too.

Clarke replaced Ponting as Test captain for the final game of this Ashes series, but will have to wait until August to learn if he will be the full-time leader. However, he will captain Australia in the upcoming one-day series against England, as Ponting continues to recover from his finger injury.

The two Twenty20s will be played next Wednesday and Friday, followed by seven ODIs beginning at the MCG on January 16. The chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, said White was ready for the leadership of Australia's Twenty20 side and the selectors were keen to play Paine more often to help him prepare for when he eventually takes over from Haddin permanently.

"Cameron White has been named as captain of the Twenty20 team and Tim Paine vice-captain," Hilditch said. "We are confident that they will provide outstanding leadership for what is a very exciting Twenty20 team.

"Brad hasn't been picked in the side, he's obviously disappointed, but the reality is we need to take opportunites from time to time to look at other players. We think Tim has big future, we're keen to give him leadshership experience as well, which we're doing in the Prime Minister's XI game and this Twenty20 squad. Brad is still our No. 1 keeper in all forms of the game, but at this particular moment the right thing is to look at Tim Paine.

"The national selection panel is taking the opportunity to look at some of our exciting young talent in this form of the game. Aaron Finch has been in outstanding form for Victoria and the NSP looks forward to watching him play at the highest level in this form of the game.

"James Pattinson is one of a crop of young fast bowlers with great potential and he impressed with his stint with the Australian side in India. We're sure he's ready for the challenge of international cricket. The squad also sees the return of Brett Lee and Shaun Tait. Both at their best are explosive bowlers and should add greatly to the team."

Australia squad David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White (capt), David Hussey, Aaron Finch, Steven Smith, Tim Paine (wk), Steve O'Keefe, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, James Pattinson, Shaun Tait.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew on January 9, 2011, 10:55 GMT

    My T20 side would be 1. Ronchi 2. Hodge (I'd go Watto except I don't want Test players in T20), 3. White (Cap), 4. Vogues, 5. S. Smith, 6. S O'Keefe, 7. Christian, 8. Krezja, 9. Lee, 10. Doherty, 11. Nannes. This side has 10 potential bowling options if you include White & Hodge. Obviously the bowling would be openned by Lee & Nannes, Tait would be my next choice. I would consider swapping either Krezja or Doherty for Hopes to beef the pace attack up. But I like the mix of left & right offies + 2 leggies. There is good batting depth right down to Krezja (has a 1st class 100) & Lee. Other players I'd consider are Ferguson, Stu Clark, Butterworth & Faulkner.

  • Andrew on January 9, 2011, 10:43 GMT

    @Gilly4ever -I know you're not the only one on the White Bandwagon, but honestly WHite is much more fragile mentally then Clarke. Clarke averages 7 runs an innings more then White, - whilst White's S/R is about the same amount higher then Pups. White had plenty of chances to stick it to the Sri Lankans this summer but barely hit one off the middle. His form (excluding the Hobart game against the Poms) this summer is quite poor. In terms of Domestic captaincy record - I would say that Brad Haddin is far superior. I would also rate North & Stu Clarks captaincy on the same shelf as White. The best thing about White is that he would improve the slip cordon (much better slipper then Pup). @HBOMBrrr - agree Christian has been winning matches with bat & ball all summer (could be a dark horse for Tests given he scored a century in a Shield game & takes wickets).

  • Andrew on January 9, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    @PlayingItStraight - I assume when you say that if Pup "continues to fail in ODIs" you mean following on from the Tests because Pups last ODI innings was a very good century against India! @theophilus - Pups ODI statistics show that he performs better when captain - his ODI stats compare VERY favourably to the best players OZ have had in this format. @kardon - too true. Also when you add that prior to selecting Beer, O'Keefe played in the Aust A game against the Poms in Hobart AND ACTUALLY TOOK WICKETS AND SCORED RUNS!!!!! That must disqualify him in Hilditch's mind! LOL - actually I can't laugh because I'm too pizzed off! @AussieFan - Hey guess what - it wasn't even the selectors decision - LOL!!!! @tfjones1978 - I agree 100%! They should exclude CURRENT Test players from the side - & only use guys who aren't really Test material (read Doherty, Warner, & Simpson). @Seers - I agree re: Clark.

  • Lou on January 9, 2011, 10:30 GMT

    I think Clarke was dropped but they are keeping that quiet. Considering how spin is the biggest game in town with CA management, I'm sure that what is being told to us isn't so.

  • Andrew on January 9, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    @Joel - NO WAY! White needs to be blitzing the Shield comp before even being considered for Test duties. @popcorn - well said re Pup. I can't beleive how negatively he is viewed despite basically flying in the face of the CASH GRAB & valuing the Baggy Green as the pinnacle. Yet most people I talk to say he is a ####! @Fareen - re: Smith, I agree that Smith has not set the world on fire this summer, BUT, he has been very good in both limited over formats - & he is one of the few Oz players who would be amongst the best fielders in the world at the moment (admit I do recall he did drop an easy Caught & Bowled @ SCG). I do agree that the short formats should be where OZ test players out. I'd rather see no TEST players in our T20 side & exclude players like Khawaja from that side as I see it would weaken their strengths. @ Geraldine - Pup is too slow in T20s - but he stacks up quite well in terms of average AND S/Rate in ODIs.

  • Keith on January 9, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Where's Dan Christian? He'd better be in the ODIs.

  • Henry on January 9, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    squad shoulda been 1. Hodge 2. Warner 3. White 4. D. Hussey 5. Ferguson 6. Paine 7. O'Keefe 8. Johnson 9. Lee 10. Tait 11. Nannes 12. Marsh

  • oscar on January 8, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    @Something_Witty they play O'Keefein the T20's because he can bat as well, my view is Pattison will mis out.

  • John on January 8, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    The selection policies are absolutely bizarre. Doherty is a fantastic limited overs bowler, but a poor test bowler, yet gets picked for tests but not limited overs? O'keefe is by far the superior test bowler, yet can't get a game in the 5 over format?? How can the selectors sit back and say they are doing a good job? Also, what does Brad Hodge have to do to get a game? I mean, come on, it's only a t20, nobody is going to care about the result, so put him in and let him show what he can do. The worst possible result is that we lose a couple of insignificant Micky Mouse games.

  • Warrick on January 8, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    Further evidence the selectors & CA don't have clue? Give Hodge a contract..don't pick him, Nannes good one day...gone the next, Johnson has a golden ticket to play whenever he wants despite his performances, pick O'keefe for a four day Aus A game vs touring English...overlooked on three occasions for test honours but we'll blood him in the 20/20's?? More confusion, more inconsistencies & more frustration. They seem ignorant to the fact that 20/20 is a completely different game & don't follow the lead of other countries who pick 'specialists'. What is going on?

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