IPL 2012 April 28, 2012

Clarke shifts focus to IPL

ESPNcricinfo staff

With a successful tour of the West Indies completed, Australia captain Michael Clarke has now shifted his focus to what will be his first stint at the IPL. Clarke is expected to arrive in India on April 30, to join his franchise, Pune Warriors. This will be something of a Twenty20 return for Clarke, who last played in the shortest format in October 2010.

"The crowds look fantastic [at the IPL] and it's going to be nice. To be honest with you, to be back playing some Twenty20 cricket, I'm looking forward to that. I've never been to the IPL. I've said for a long time that when the opportunity comes up and I feel that it's right for me, I'd love to get over there and have a crack and see what it's like," Clarke said after the Dominica Test. "I am looking forward to it. We [Australia] have a good break this winter. I've only got two one-day tours the whole winter, so if I was ever going to go this is the opportunity."

In 2009, Clarke had pulled out of the IPL auction, citing Australia's busy schedule. He then retired from Twenty20 internationals in January 2011 in order to focus on ODIs and Tests. In fact, the only domestic Twenty20 games he has played were six matches way back in 2004, for Hampshire in England.

Clarke said he is happy to play under former India captain Sourav Ganguly and observe his method of working. "I think that Sourav's always been a nice guy. I've always got along with him well and I look forward to playing under him. It seems like he's doing a really good job as captain-coach over there, I've spoken to a couple of the boys and they seem to be really happy about how things are. So, yeah, for me it's an eye-opener."

At the time of signing Clarke, Warriors captain Ganguly had said the franchise were interested in Clarke, despite his lack of Twenty20 experience, since he has all-round ability. "He can bat and he can bowl. He is a big player," Ganguly had told ESPNcricinfo. Ganguly will now be hoping that Clarke's arrival will help thwart what has been a poor run for Warriors - the team had begun the tournament well, winning three of their first four games, but have since lost four of five.

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  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 15:24 GMT

    He might turn out to be a bigger asset as a bowler than as a batsman , Watch out ! And his fielding is a huge plus for any side in any format ..

  • kathi on April 30, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    mike s not good t20 batsman but he s a good talented international batsman i make sure tat mike himself says he s in prime form with bat in his carer & now he s proving good batsman than any other in world & too proving as a success captain . recently he proved he s good with bowlling by taking 5 wicket haul agaist wi .................. as i m big fan of SOURAV DADA GANGULY i m supporting pune warriors india but with some slow batting of uttappa n failure of samules recently costa two big matches for pune & especially 4 crucial points .. i m sure DADA will bounce back with his batting ability n with his captain tactics n now clarke inclusion will surely helps pune warriors to bounce back against DC in hyd....all d best pune all d best dada n mike welcome to ipl

  • Dummy4 on April 30, 2012, 0:15 GMT

    pune warriors have a match winning openerTamim iqbal came from bangladesh.who got back to back 4 half century recent asia cup.bangladest beat srilanka and india.in final bangldesh lose to pakistan in final by 2 runs.i dont know why ganguly and pune did bad with tamom iqbal.....

  • Andrew on April 29, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    @Pravski - apart from the fact he is a) a good bowler b) a better fielder than most & c) a very very good cricketing brain - you may be surprised how little bench time he actually has!

  • Bryn on April 29, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    he will light up the place somehow. the great man is pure magic

  • SIva on April 29, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Who cares about IPL? It will ruin your cricketing future Clarke! Come home and rest! Test cricket is the way to go. IPL is good only for how ground bullies.

  • Praveen on April 29, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Statistically Clarke is a very poor T20 batsman. Only one 50 in 40 matches with a strike rate of only 108, you will see him warming the bench for most of the IPL.

  • Kyle on April 29, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Anyway, should be interesting seeing Clarke playing for Pune. They definetly need to strengthen their batting line up. Jayawardene and Dravid are very technical batsmen and have had success so far in the tournement so there is nothing to say that Clarke can't find some form either, he's also known for playing well in the subcontinent so hopefully things turn out well for him. But out of all the aussies I'm looking forward to seeing Warner the most. Warner and Sehwag with the form he has right now should be devastating.

  • Hamish on April 28, 2012, 23:04 GMT

    Fair enough to Clarke for wanting to take a paid holiday in the IPL and have a bit of a laugh with everyone else but hopefully it doesn't impact his game in the proper forms of cricket because staying away from the fun stuff has clearly benefited him a great deal. The guy is on fire as captain of Australia at the moment. Will be good for him to have a break from cricket in India though and get on the lash with the rest of the overseas players.

  • Andrew on April 28, 2012, 22:36 GMT

    @Something_Witty - I would prefer him to stay away from T20 altogether. When he was playing T20 (& assuming no back troubles), I'd of had him batting @#7 & bowling 4 overs of offspin - I think his bowling would of made him a T20 bowling allrounder. As it is, there are always question marks over his fitness, & I'd prefer him not to be there. However, one added bonus to this that our tour of India is not too far away, so it could be considered a sorte!!!!!

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