Australia news September 13, 2009

Shipperd backs White for Australia T20 captaincy

Cricinfo staff

Victoria coach Greg Shipperd has said Australian batsman Cameron White should lead the national Twenty20 team following the retirement of Ricky Ponting from the format. White has led Victoria to all four finals of Australia's domestic Twenty20 Big Bash tournament, but he will face stiff competition from Michael Clarke, who is the favourite for the Australian captaincy and also has Ponting's support .

"Cameron has been captain of the Australia A team, he is captain of Victoria and he is an outstanding potential captain of Twenty20," Shipperd told the Sunday Herald Sun. "He has made his mark in the one-day series in England and he has an excellent record in Twenty20. With the World Cup coming up in April-May next year, it would be good to see him made captain for the Twenty20 games in Australia this season."

Clarke, the vice-captain, is tipped to take over the Test captaincy after Ponting quits the game for good. Shipperd added that it will be a good idea to start grooming White as a Twenty20 captain immediately, if Clarke too decides to relinquish at least one of the formats to prolong his career.

"With no disrespect to Ricky Ponting or Michael Clarke, the Twenty20 game is so different that it should have a specialist captain," Shipperd said. "Ricky has retired from this format to concentrate on Tests and one-day internationals, and Michael may face a similar decision in the near future.

"It can be difficult for a captain moving from one format to another to get his head around all the nuances of the various games, and the hectic schedule of all forms of the game also has an impact with possible burn-out."

White has an impressive Twenty20 record as a batsman, with a strike rate of 151.67 in 46 domestic Twenty20s. He has represented Australia in eight internationals, with an average of 41.40. Cricket Australia is expected to announce Ponting's successor at the conclusion of its board meeting next month.

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