Australia v England 2010-11 January 25, 2011

Selectors back Michael Clarke to rediscover form

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Clarke, the out-of-form one-day captain, will continue to receive the support of Australia's selectors at least until the end of the World Cup. While Clarke has been struggling for runs throughout the summer, Greg Chappell said the panel has been impressed with his leadership against England, who the hosts lead 3-0 in the seven-match series.

"We have a lot of reasons to support him at this time," Chappell said in the Sydney Morning Herald. ''We've been delighted with his leadership. His captaincy in the first three games has been excellent. His strategies, bowling changes, everything that he's done - not least winning matches - has been good, and I'm sure that will only be good for him.''

However, Clarke's batting is more of a problem, with him unable to exit the slump which worsened during the Ashes. He scored 193 runs in that campaign and has posted 36, 10 and 9 in the first three ODIs.

"Many wanted Mike Hussey out of the team, we decided to back his ability to perform at the top level and we were repaid in spades by his performances in the Ashes series," Chappell said in the Courier-Mail. "We are pretty confident that given the same opportunities Michael Clarke will repay us the same way. I believe he has got through to the end of the World Cup to sort it out and we are confident he well and truly will have it sorted before then."

Clarke, who is preparing for Wednesday's fourth ODI, said it was "nice" to hear Chappell's positive comments. "I've had a lot of support from a lot of people over the last couple of months and that helps," Clarke said. "A lot of people who support me don't have a story written about them. I know I've got a lot of supporters and fans out there who continue to get behind me. I'm confident that if I keep doing the hard work things will change."

Chappell told Clarke to believe in himself to correct the "state-of-mind" problem. "You can turn it around very quickly and for that reason I'm confident Michael only needs to get a few runs at some stage in the next few games and he'll go to India [for the World Cup] in a very different space than he's in now," he said. ''When you're not playing well you start to think about anything and everything and stop watching the ball. It's nearly as simple as that."

Comments