ICC World Twenty20 2010 May 13, 2010

Warne backs Clarke as Twenty20 captain

Cricinfo staff

Shane Warne has thrown his support behind Michael Clarke as captain of Australia's Twenty20 team despite Clarke's own struggles with the bat. Warne believes Clarke's record as the leader of the side - in 13 games he has never led his side to defeat - is ample justification for him being in the starting line-up.

As a batsman, Clarke has battled to adjust to the tempo of the shortest format and is averaging 12 at the World Twenty20. However, he has captained an unbeaten Australia into the semi-finals after they bowed out in the first round last year, and Warne was impressed with Clarke's leadership.

"At the moment he is captain of the Twenty20 side and he is doing a bloody good job," Warne told AAP. "I think they are playing a good brand of cricket. I think what you are seeing is him maturing - he is becoming a good leader and good player."

Clarke has been praised for his attacking captaincy in the Caribbean, where he has backed his aggressive fast men and the legspinner Steven Smith, giving them fields that target wickets and not just containment. The former captain Steve Waugh said Clarke fully deserved his place in the side.

"Form's temporary, class is permanent," Waugh said in the Australian. "He's a good enough player to adapt to that form of the game. I don't see that as a big issue right now. A lot of people are saying he needs to up the ante but if he's encouraging players around him and getting the best out of them that's great for the team. He scores quick enough in my mind to be successful at T20."

Of the 40 leading run scorers in Twenty20 internationals, Clarke has the lowest strike-rate of 102.07 and he has also comfortably struck the fewest boundaries among that group. However, none of the leading captains in Twenty20 internationals come close to his winning ratio of 95.83%.

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  • md on May 16, 2010, 22:05 GMT

    Mr. Warne don't you think Clarke should step down as a t20 captain? without any doubt he is a very good batsman and captain. unfortunately he does not fit into the t20 side and it is a fact. I really do not know what David Hussey is doing in the team. Australia lost the trophy only because he came before White and wasted so many balls early in the innings. Australia really missing symonds at 5 and his bowling. Last year Australia was scoring runs but they could not defend it and this year they did not have 4th or 5th bowling options and it was exposed early in the series but they managed to survive until super eight!!!!!!!!!

  • Ross on May 13, 2010, 15:55 GMT

    So Warnie, are you saying no other player would have the same record? He is such a good captain that he can be in the team purely as that? As Ian Chappel recently said, it's difficult enough winning a match when it's 11 vs. 11, so why play 10 vs. 11? Clarke is currently the weakest part of Australia's team. Imagine the same team with Symonds in his place...

  • Ashan on May 13, 2010, 11:31 GMT

    c'mon mate the super over counts as one over eliminator....In T20s a tie is a tie... Super over is just there to get a result... But the final outcome is a TIE...

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2010, 11:21 GMT

    @Killglance: i think the Super-over only officially decides a match in tournaments, in bilateral series, its just a bit of fun.

  • Tim on May 13, 2010, 9:34 GMT

    The super over is so the crowd goes home with a result. Any tied games go down in the record books as a tie, regardless of the super over result.

  • Ross on May 13, 2010, 9:29 GMT

    Confuses me to Killglance, what is the point of a super over if it is not reflected in the records.

    That being said, I have to admire Clarkeys willingness to set aggresive fields and put the onus back on the opposition. he could be the Mike Brearley of T20 cricket!!!! Seriously though, he has the side under him to do it and they are producing the goods. The fielding of the Aussies has to be admired also but then again, they have been the benchmark in this area of the game for a number of years now.

  • Shubash on May 13, 2010, 9:14 GMT

    Clarke and T20 simply dont mix. As a top 6 batsman, you have to be scoring runs at a strike rate of over 130. He shud get into more domestic T20 and learn how to play it before playing at the international level. His great captaincy record shows that he has a good team that can win matches for him. Clarke himself has done very little to win T20 matches for Australia. White can do just as good a job at captaining Australia, atleast while Clarke is learning how to play T20.

  • Dummy4 on May 13, 2010, 9:08 GMT

    GO PUP GO..............u are future captain of australia after punter...........

  • Mitchell on May 13, 2010, 8:01 GMT

    Well spotted Killglance. What's the point of having it if it's only going to count as a tie anyway?

  • ashok on May 13, 2010, 7:27 GMT

    With talented youngsters like Paine and Christian sitting out, Clarke has to justify his place in the side and lead from the front with the bat. I am sure the opposition bowlers must be heaving a huge sigh of relief when they see him coming out to bat ahead of power hitters like White and the Hussey brothers.

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