Australia v England, 1st T20, Adelaide January 11, 2011

'I know how Twenty20 cricket works' - White


Cameron White believes he is ideally suited to the Australia Twenty20 captaincy as he prepares to lead his country for the first time against England, in Adelaide, on Wednesday. White has taken over from Michael Clarke who announced his retirement from Twenty20 cricket after the fifth Ashes Test in a bid to improve his Test and one-day form.

White has an impressive Twenty20 record as a player and averages 36.64 from 23 matches with a strike-rate of 144.50. In all Twenty20 cricket, which includes playing for Somerset and Royal Challengers Bangalore, he has managed two hundreds with a best of 141. Now, though, it is about more than just the runs he scores but how he leads his team and White has no doubt he's capable of meeting the challenge.

"I think I have a really good understanding of how Twenty20 cricket works on the field for a start; tactically I hope I'm as good as there is, and I guess that is what the selectors have seen," he said. "I hope I'm successful as a captain but I can't control where that takes me."

For the time being, White doesn't have any designs on making a push for further captaincy honours in Australian cricket. There is extensive debate about the future of Ricky Ponting and whether Clarke, who has been earmarked for the Test and one-day captaincy for much of his career, is the right man to take over.

White, though, isn't near the Test side at the moment and hasn't been since playing four Tests in India in 2008. "I don't think that I need to worry about or think about being captain of those other formats because it's probably not something that is going to happen in the near future,'' he said.

A tough first assignment awaits White, as he attempts to stop a rampant England side who are brimming with confidence after their Ashes success. The last time the two sides met in a Twenty20 international was in Barbados when England won by seven wickets to secure the World Twenty20 title. England have now strung together seven victories on the bounce and one more will give them a new world record although the team have not been concentrating too hard on the landmark.

"It's been discussed but I don't think it is something that has always been spoken about," Michael Yardy, the England left-arm spinner and middle-order batsman said. "Obviously, you want to achieve world records and it is an opportunity to achieve that, but it is not the main focus. It is very much about continuing the tour in a successful mode."

Yardy is one of the new faces to join the tour for the limited-overs matches. He had been playing Twenty20 cricket in New Zealand for Central Districts prior to his international duty and prepared with 3 for 33 against the Prime Minister's XI in Canberra. And even though the Ashes are finished he can feel the positive after-effects.

"The boys are buzzing, obviously. After winning a series like that they are going to be," he said. "It's nice to be a part of it. You fit in very well, it's a good environment to come into. There is a lot of love in the group at the moment and whether that brings results or it's the results that bring the team closer together I am not too sure. But certainly everyone is happy."

But the tone from the Australian camp, understandably, is very much to move on from what has happened over the last six weeks and start afresh in coloured clothes. There are a number of players, including express quicks Brett Lee and Shaun Tait, in the side who weren't part of the Tests and White is looking forward rather than back.

"Twenty20 and Test cricket couldn't be further apart. I think there are only three or four guys that have been involved in the Test matches,'' he said. "So it's really a fresh start for this team. Hopefully a change of format will bring a change of luck."

Australia was late to embrace Twenty20 cricket and now is looking towards the shortest format for salvation.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ahnaf on January 12, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    He was brilliant.Showed his attacking side as a captain.Used the spinners very well.It would have been handy to have a captain like him in sub-continent.He knows how to use spinners.Very impressive.Hopefully he'll be in the test side and to me he's the best man to lead Australia in ALL 3 formats.

  • Karl on January 12, 2011, 7:38 GMT

    White made captain of the 20/20 team is the second best piece of news that I have heard this week. The best was hearing that Michael " the snail" Clarke isn't going to be playing 20/20 any more. White is a great attacking captain who reads the game very well and would do wonders as the ODI captain as well. Be great if Clarke stood down from all limited overs cricket selectors need to ignore him in the same vain that Justin Langer was never picked.

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    @Jimmy Davo ..nope you are wrong and I agree with Shariq.. Instead of Shariq doing homework, it should be you because ........hmm no need to explain to you - you will know when aussies get THRASHED tomorrow :)

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    @jonesy: you are kidding, arent you? The worst T20 team? Surely not . They are the best IMO [probably weren't when they won the WC] with either Pakistan/Aus/SA being the second best. And please make some valuable comments as well. Your aussie biased attitude makes me wonder how your comments get published. Anyways, moving onto White, I have long believed he is a very good captain and a vert good striker of the cricket ball. I believe he should be given the ODI captaincy as well. He has played some brilliant innings in the format. And he can come in the test team too. And can play a similar role to Gilly/Sehwag. I mean, he can't surely do worse than Smith/North? Also, Ponting should retire from ODI's too. Cameron white should be the Test captain _when_ Ponting retires

  • Tim on January 12, 2011, 5:07 GMT

    If the selections were well planned then Australia would still be a decent team. Haddin was an obvious inclusion in the T20 side but the selectors went for Tim Paine? Paine consumes too many balls before he hits out, his odi strike rate is in the 60s or low 70s. Brad Haddin is a proven slogger and thats what you need for a wicketkeeper batsmen in T20! Maddness.

  • Dummy4 on January 12, 2011, 4:17 GMT

    @Shariq. "experience matters a lot in T20". Mate, White has been captain of Vic for years, is already an established member of the Aus team, in addition to his duties in the IPL and for Somerset. He is without a doubt the best captain in Australia at the moment, in any form of the game. He has been compared to Allan Border in terms of his captaincy style, and given the slump that has engulfed the Aus team at the moment, is the perfect choice for the role.

  • Dummy4 on January 11, 2011, 22:35 GMT

    @ Shariq... Well done there in stating the obvious "Well guys good player doesnt mean a good captain" , but i think Mr White will have u eating a hell of a lot of humble pie and comparing him and Afridi is foolish as an example as they are far and away not just different players but extremely different as people and that will show out in Whites leadership style. I'd suggest you do a little homework next time as White has been one of the most successful captains of Victoria ever when it comes to sustained success and silverware. The Aussie selectors have made many poor decisions recently but this wont be one of them.

  • Andrew on January 11, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    @ Tangles - just bear in mind that White's 1st class stats in Oz aren't all that good either when you make comparisons with Smith. @bumbles11 - the PMs XI also included players with 0 1st class exposure or List A matches. There were also players like Copeland who doesn't have godd List A stats in that side. It was a 7 wicket win - but the D/L figure rewarded for being no wickets down. @Shariq Barber - I am not a great fan of White's but he'll be a much better captain the Watto. Watto is a very good allrounder - but he doesn't strike me as being very bright in cricket terms, he also mopes a bit too much when things don't go his way - in other words has no "poker face".

  • Adrian on January 11, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    This should be seen as a test of White's captaincy skills for if Australia win this match it will be largely down to White getting the most out of the players. If White can do well here, he should be given the ODI captaincy too. And if that goes well too, he should also be given the test captaincy. He isn't "far away from the test team" as some have said. I had him in the 1st test team instead of North. He should be in the test team right now.

  • Chris on January 11, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    "england has the worst t20 team i dont know how they won the world tournament but i guess thats the nature of t20 anything can happen."

    Weren't you saying something very similar about the England test team 6 weeks or so ago (or even just 2 weeks ago!), jonesy?

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