England v Australia, World Twenty20 final, Barbados May 17, 2010

Subtle anchor role weighs Clarke down

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Michael Clarke is the best batsman by far in Australia's Test team and comfortably the least productive in Twenty20s. He is also the captain and has led the side in 15 matches, winning 12 times and losing once. It was a big defeat - the World Twenty20 final - but his leadership is not what is in doubt. He is still being groomed for the Test captaincy and his current troubles will develop his experience base for Ricky Ponting's role when the incumbent steps down.

It is two years until the next global Twenty20 event and Clarke is unlikely to be there unless he transforms his batting approach of slicing gaps into more bombing of balls into grandstands. As Clarke understands, subtlety is not necessary in this format. By sprinting singles and finding regular twos, he thought he was doing the right thing by his team. He wasn't.

"I certainly know they [my performances] haven't been up to scratch through this whole tournament and probably in Twenty20 cricket in general," Clarke said after the final defeat in Barbados. "I'm sure the selectors will sit down and have a look and if I'm not the right guy for No. 3 and the captaincy then they'll make that decision."

Australia need more of Clarke's Christchurch outlook - he blasted 67 off 45 balls there in February - and less of his jogging in the Caribbean. In seven games he managed 92 runs at an average of 15.33 and a strike-rate of 80.70, making him the side's modern-day incarnation of Geoff Marsh, the batting anchor of the 1980s. The next lowest strike-rate, including the bowlers, was Brad Haddin's 102.08.

He deserves a chance to change and there is no rush for an overall. This is not like the 50-over World Cup, which signals a clear-out as teams re-focus for an event four years ahead. Before the next World Twenty20 there are oodles of opportunities for players to emerge through the various domestic leagues. Except for Clarke.

By being a Test and one-day master Clarke won't be able to practise raising his short game. International Twenty20 engagements over the rest of the year are rare and there will be only three on offer for Australia during the home summer. New South Wales, his state side, are not in the Champions League, he doesn't play in the IPL, and he won't get to turn out in Australia's Big Bash.

If he can't morph into a batting hare, a smooth transition will be much easier to achieve next year. Ponting, 35, will probably retire from ODIs at the end of the World Cup in April, having attempted a fourth win in a row, and Clarke can take over in a format he is at one with. That will allow him to shed the Twenty20 demands and let the regeneration of the T20 set-up to occur with a new leader. Cameron White is the current vice-captain but the personnel in this squad can alter so rapidly that Tasmania's George Bailey might also be a contender.

Until then Clarke must remember the strokes of his youth when he bats in Twenty20s. The drives over cover, the hooks in the air and the freedom of belting the ball without worrying about the consequences. This was the attitude that blew him into Test cricket with a century on debut in Bangalore - he hit four sixes to Adam Gilchrist's three - and another one in his first game at home against New Zealand. At the Gabba he reached three figures with two pulled fours and a three in the over before lunch.

At the time he was the breathtaking wonder boy of Australian cricket. After he was cut from the Test side a year later he eliminated those riskier elements, growing into the country's most professional batsman, and hasn't been able to re-programme them.

"That's the thing, if I play like that, that's probably why I got dropped," Clarke said in November. "You have your day in the sun sometimes then miss out five times." One awesome day every six matches in Twenty20 means there is no talk of you getting the sack.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jaggadaaku on May 19, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Clarke looks "CHIDIMAAR" all along in every game. Moreover, he plays in T20 game like Ganguly and Dravid are playing in ODIs. Look at his average strike rate in T20. Even though, Ricky Ponting plays better than him in T20, moreover; Ricky Ponting is better captain than him, and probably the best captain in the world. Actually, I hate the australians, but the hate is never going to change the fact. I really don't get why Aus. selectors don't allow Ponting to be a captain in T20. Clarke is only appropriate to play in Tests, and of-course in ODIs occasionally.

  • Sakib241 on May 19, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    I think all through the tournament Australia got their batting order wrong but that was shed by their bowling performances. Cameron white should come at 3. Because he replaced Rickey ponting in the 6-1 thrashing of England in ODIs and was brilliant with two fifty odds and a 100. Clark should bat at 4, his usual test position. Hussey comes in at 5 giving him time to build and then bash at the end. Haddin is a natural slogger. So he shud come in at 6. We all saw what he could do at that position when he blasted 37 of 18 against west indies in the Australian summer. Mitchel Johnson looked tired after the brilliant performance in New Zealand. May be Ryan Harris could come in because of his batting credentials. Steve Smith is perfect. He just needs to improve his bowling by taking tips from Warne.

  • jimbo76 on May 19, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    Clarke knows himself he is not the right man for the number 3, great captain but he can get out of the mode on building innings which can take to long, T20 is for reckless players who dont care about averages and just love to hit the ball as hard and far as possible,just give the job to hussy or white as captain, but im hoping one day White plays for the test team soon,he can do the andrew symonds roll since the selectors treated Andrew so harsh bloody nobs what a waste of talent, also the umpires need to stop being pussys and expect if they make a harsh decision there going to get a shake of the head on a small comment, its all part of cricket

  • chokkashokka on May 19, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    Clarke needs his party-girl girlfriend to sing him a lullaby and nurse him back to form. Poor puppy - he's been working so hard. Needs a break from all this pressure of 20 over cricket.

  • on May 19, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    Believe me 20/20 is not for Kallis or Clarke unless they change their approch. so What is the advatage when team is chasing 180,then somebody score 50 out of 53 balls and not loosing many wickets at the end of the innings

  • Winsome on May 18, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    'He deserves a chance to change and there is no rush for an overall.' I don't agree that he needs time to adjust. He's had time. He hasn't adjusted. He goes above a runrate of about 100 every 6 games or so. That is a very long way from being just about even.

    In ODI's for the last 2 years he has been the Aussies' slowest batsman by quite some way. He doesn't play swashbuckling innings anymore he is just 'works' it around playing risk-free cricket. He should never have been made captain of the 20/20 team and most Aussie fans know it for the simple reason that he can't hold his place in the squad.

    Why should other players have to take all the risks when the captain won't or can't?

    His performance in the final was embarrassing. No other word for it.

  • on May 18, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Clarke shud b given another chance..

  • Venkat.Chak on May 18, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan -- pls claim urself that u belong to a different planet or a novice in cricket as far as stats are concerned...

  • svinodmenon on May 18, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    M.Clarke should opt himself of the T20 games, If he continue playing he may loose the spot even in test matches. He is already loosing form in 50 over games. CA groomed his as the future captain. Does he really have the potential to be a captain in all formes of cricket...?. Anyone in the world can be the captain for Australia by means of their hard core games. They are still the superior team in the world, but they need a replacement after R.Pointing. I suggest C.White as the best to achieve this spot if he was given a place in the test matches. He is arguably a dominant and hard hitting batsman with lot of temperment who can play really according to the situation.

  • cricketisagame on May 18, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Well, honestly I think Pup should follow Punter and retire from T20. That will do a lot good for the present team by allowing them to add Dougi or Bret/Harris to havel 5 good bowlers which will reduce the stress on Watto. Alternatively, they can have both Steven Smith and Hauritz in a slow pitch too. In batting, it allows Hussey or White to use more overs for themselves. White is already proved a good captain anyway. Batting is pretty good but sometimes bowling looks ordinary like in the T20 finals.

  • Jaggadaaku on May 19, 2010, 9:13 GMT

    Clarke looks "CHIDIMAAR" all along in every game. Moreover, he plays in T20 game like Ganguly and Dravid are playing in ODIs. Look at his average strike rate in T20. Even though, Ricky Ponting plays better than him in T20, moreover; Ricky Ponting is better captain than him, and probably the best captain in the world. Actually, I hate the australians, but the hate is never going to change the fact. I really don't get why Aus. selectors don't allow Ponting to be a captain in T20. Clarke is only appropriate to play in Tests, and of-course in ODIs occasionally.

  • Sakib241 on May 19, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    I think all through the tournament Australia got their batting order wrong but that was shed by their bowling performances. Cameron white should come at 3. Because he replaced Rickey ponting in the 6-1 thrashing of England in ODIs and was brilliant with two fifty odds and a 100. Clark should bat at 4, his usual test position. Hussey comes in at 5 giving him time to build and then bash at the end. Haddin is a natural slogger. So he shud come in at 6. We all saw what he could do at that position when he blasted 37 of 18 against west indies in the Australian summer. Mitchel Johnson looked tired after the brilliant performance in New Zealand. May be Ryan Harris could come in because of his batting credentials. Steve Smith is perfect. He just needs to improve his bowling by taking tips from Warne.

  • jimbo76 on May 19, 2010, 1:48 GMT

    Clarke knows himself he is not the right man for the number 3, great captain but he can get out of the mode on building innings which can take to long, T20 is for reckless players who dont care about averages and just love to hit the ball as hard and far as possible,just give the job to hussy or white as captain, but im hoping one day White plays for the test team soon,he can do the andrew symonds roll since the selectors treated Andrew so harsh bloody nobs what a waste of talent, also the umpires need to stop being pussys and expect if they make a harsh decision there going to get a shake of the head on a small comment, its all part of cricket

  • chokkashokka on May 19, 2010, 0:49 GMT

    Clarke needs his party-girl girlfriend to sing him a lullaby and nurse him back to form. Poor puppy - he's been working so hard. Needs a break from all this pressure of 20 over cricket.

  • on May 19, 2010, 0:07 GMT

    Believe me 20/20 is not for Kallis or Clarke unless they change their approch. so What is the advatage when team is chasing 180,then somebody score 50 out of 53 balls and not loosing many wickets at the end of the innings

  • Winsome on May 18, 2010, 23:35 GMT

    'He deserves a chance to change and there is no rush for an overall.' I don't agree that he needs time to adjust. He's had time. He hasn't adjusted. He goes above a runrate of about 100 every 6 games or so. That is a very long way from being just about even.

    In ODI's for the last 2 years he has been the Aussies' slowest batsman by quite some way. He doesn't play swashbuckling innings anymore he is just 'works' it around playing risk-free cricket. He should never have been made captain of the 20/20 team and most Aussie fans know it for the simple reason that he can't hold his place in the squad.

    Why should other players have to take all the risks when the captain won't or can't?

    His performance in the final was embarrassing. No other word for it.

  • on May 18, 2010, 19:39 GMT

    Clarke shud b given another chance..

  • Venkat.Chak on May 18, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    @gr8_sachin_fan -- pls claim urself that u belong to a different planet or a novice in cricket as far as stats are concerned...

  • svinodmenon on May 18, 2010, 18:18 GMT

    M.Clarke should opt himself of the T20 games, If he continue playing he may loose the spot even in test matches. He is already loosing form in 50 over games. CA groomed his as the future captain. Does he really have the potential to be a captain in all formes of cricket...?. Anyone in the world can be the captain for Australia by means of their hard core games. They are still the superior team in the world, but they need a replacement after R.Pointing. I suggest C.White as the best to achieve this spot if he was given a place in the test matches. He is arguably a dominant and hard hitting batsman with lot of temperment who can play really according to the situation.

  • cricketisagame on May 18, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Well, honestly I think Pup should follow Punter and retire from T20. That will do a lot good for the present team by allowing them to add Dougi or Bret/Harris to havel 5 good bowlers which will reduce the stress on Watto. Alternatively, they can have both Steven Smith and Hauritz in a slow pitch too. In batting, it allows Hussey or White to use more overs for themselves. White is already proved a good captain anyway. Batting is pretty good but sometimes bowling looks ordinary like in the T20 finals.

  • on May 18, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    i stopped reading the article right after the first line "...the best batsman by far in Australia's Test team ". Its really insulting to Ponting and Hussey.

  • FIASNAHK on May 18, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    Firstly, whether he is the best batsmen in the test team is debatable, he could be but certainly isnt by far. But i would say that he definetly has the best technique out of all the batsmen. The problem with him is that he is too scared of taking risks. He got out cheaply in the first couple of games and after that he was too scared of a bad perfermance. Thats the difference between him and cameron white, who goes in and smashes it regardless of the situation. White might only get 30s but even that at a good strike rate is good enough in this game. People like clarke and kallis who get singles and try to get the 50s all the time do their teams no favours, as SA found out after kallis virtually lost them a couple of games, even though he got 40s and 50s.

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 15:22 GMT

    Also can't understand why people are finding it so hard to gulp that Clarke has been Australia's most consistent test batsman for a while now. Ponting's form has been patchy, and Hussey was on the verge of getting dropped this summer, so its been Clarke & Katich who have been making the bulk of the runs. Think people here are just reacting keeping a player's current profile in mind...

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 15:14 GMT

    @Rehan Ahmed What are you talking about mate!!? Ponting in 07 had likes of Hayden, Gilly, Symmo, Hodge. In 09 he had a pretty similar squad to the one at present, and still he couldn't come up with desired results...

  • tragicmagic on May 18, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Peter!! Best batsman by far....!? I like your commentary but your bias's should be kept tucked away lest you lose your cred. The bloke has never been tested up the order yet.. he is still hiding lower down while the real batsmen take the heat at the front end. Sure he has some talent, but lets seem him in early on a green top more than once in a blue moon....!!!

  • gr8_sachin_fan on May 18, 2010, 13:52 GMT

    @swamistyle: Michael Clarke is not the most over-rated cricketer today. That honour goes to a certain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar..

  • asimpanda on May 18, 2010, 13:09 GMT

    i never thought clarke coming aywhere near to being a captaincy material be it in any form of the game...though the australians seem to find quality players at the drop of the hat..findin a leader is certainly gonna cause a sleepless night or 2 for the aussie selectors.....the certainites in the teanm m hussey is nearin 35,..haddin..australian keepers never made it to the skiper grade .....it is difficult findin a certainity in the team...every one is kinda replaceable thanx to the talent the aussie hav at their disposal...

  • on May 18, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    System produces consistent result not individuals..Michael Clark needs to raise his game to be part of the team otherwise he will not be a part of Mighty Australian team his captaincy can only be judge if he would have weak links in the team ..any other Australian captain can produce similar results if he gets the same team and team management.

  • CricketMaan on May 18, 2010, 13:02 GMT

    i suppose M Hussey,Clarke and Dirk played their last T20 worldcup, Huss and Dirk purely coz of thier age...but its all about defying age aint it?

  • on May 18, 2010, 12:57 GMT

    @Puppster23 u can compare Ricky pointing's team of T20 with Michael Clark Team of T20 u will get an answer

  • Kovac on May 18, 2010, 12:50 GMT

    How would playing in the IPL help Michael Clarke's T20 game? It has done nothing for the Indian players.

  • Geraldine on May 18, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    Some interesting hyperbole there Peter. Firstly, it is controversial whether Clarke is the best test batsman in the team but he certainly isn't "by a long way." Secondly, just a few months ago plenty of people were questioning Clarke's role as a ODI batsman. His excruciatingly slow scoring was too slow even by ODI standards and he cost Australia several games. But I do hope that you are right and Clarke leaves the T20 team, but even before Ponting retires. He hasn't done anything to EVER warrant selection in the T20 team. It's just wishful thinking on the part of the selectors who want to groom him for captaincy in the least important form of the game. One successful innings is not a reason to overlook dozens of failures.

  • mountfordalex on May 18, 2010, 10:55 GMT

    Michael Clarke - the best batsman in the Australian team? Do you follow cricket Peter??!!!! 2 words........Ricky Ponting. Jeez! Id personally have Michael Hussey over Clarke any day.

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 10:33 GMT

    Also that 67 off 45 against NZ, showed that Clarke definitely has the ability to turn in on in T20's. He just needs to be flexible with his game, from one format to the other...

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 10:26 GMT

    @Rehan Ahmed If Australian side is so awesome, why couldn't Ponting produce results similar to Clarke's out of his T20 side.

  • swamistyle on May 18, 2010, 9:51 GMT

    Clarke is the most overrated cricketer in the world 2day. In tests he is protected at 5 but Ponting is the best bat, followed by Katich & Hussey. Even Watson has done better lately. The favoritism he receives is sickening. The guy doesnt play IPL or Big Bash, has a pathetic T20 ave for Oz & they made him captain! He doesnt even captain his state! There r other talented bats that would have done much better. & what is so gr8 about his captaincy? The side ran itself. He needlessly kept promoting Haddin up the order ahead of the Hussey bros & white, wasting their talents but selfishly kept himself at 3. He even bowled himself & got carted everytime. The selectors have already set in stone he's the next test captain so they gave him the T20 as a pet project, showing they still dont take this format seriously. Even in ODIs he got a dream run. In the 07 WC they dropped an in-form Hodge after he hit 100 so that Clarke could get back in form. Does not deserve to be next captain.

  • on May 18, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    sorry about posting two comments about the same thing.I am new to adding comments on cricinfo's articles.

  • on May 18, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Australia played good cricket right throughout the tournament.but in the final they didn't play well for the first time.clarke captained well in all the matches.If they scored 40 runs more they could have won the title.clarke should improve his batting to win matches for australia in t20's.might be a good idea to step down from the captaincy and purely concentrate on his batting.

  • on May 18, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    I don't think he is a very good captain ,Australia is an Outstanding team, now a days most of the work done off the field including how to bowl and how to set field for a opposition batsman even they discuss different match situation and plan things before the match starts, he doesn't have to be the greatest captain he already has an exceptional team managment

  • indianzen on May 18, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    honestly, Mike hussey should be made as the captain, pup lacks attitude and honesty. MR cricket can do it for Aus.

  • on May 18, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    I think michael clarke is a good player when it comes to test cricket or one dayers.In 20/20' someone else should be the captain inorder for clarke to concentrate purely on his batting.

  • ganeshram78 on May 18, 2010, 6:53 GMT

    australia lost coz clarke got the batting order wrong. he was running the story to the script. white and m.hussey should have got >10 overs to bat given their form. why should watson, clarke and haddin bat higher than the in form guys.

  • popcorn on May 18, 2010, 4:41 GMT

    To be fair to Pup, he is an excellent captain. And like he says, T20 shots are risky shots, and that's why he was dropped from the Test Team a couple of years ago.He should be given time,at least a year, to develop T20 skills without sacrificing the Class he has shown in Tests and ODIs.Iif that doesn't work,horses for courses.Cameron White is ripe for captaincy. He's been there, done that for the Bushrangers.

  • on May 18, 2010, 4:35 GMT

    Cricket Australia clearly still hasn't fully accepted T20 as a legitimate separate form of the game. Clarke is captain of the T20 side because he is the understudy to Ponting in the Test side, not because he is a T20 player.

  • redneck on May 18, 2010, 4:34 GMT

    id rather clarke quit 20/20's than for him to change his batting game! hes meant to be the next test captain of australia and the ashes series last year he showed that by making runs, if your game is suited to test and ODI's that should be more than enough. leave 20/20 for the up and commers!

  • Silly_gilly on May 18, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    "Michael Clarke is the best batsman by far in Australia's Test team"......!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

    Good Joke...:-)

  • mk49_van on May 18, 2010, 4:03 GMT

    MC is "the best by far"? Oh how low have the mighty Aussies fallen....

  • on May 18, 2010, 3:50 GMT

    Chintan, Ponting is past his best and Hussey has been on a long slide down the test battig ranks for a long time now.

  • cric_yogi on May 18, 2010, 3:39 GMT

    Australia's Final appearance in Finals of T20 World Cup has proven that Australians are not driven by captains ..No Matter its ponting or clarke , Aussies will play well as they have talented players and are not dependent on individual's brilliance ... Clarke shud play IPL to improve his T20 batting standard ...He is short of confidence in this format ..He is the best Test batsman in Australian line up ..Yes he is better than Ponting as he plays spin very well as compared to Ponting who is not a gud player of spin ..!

  • JUSTFORKIX on May 18, 2010, 3:26 GMT

    Clarke is the best batsman in the Aussie test team - much better than Ponting and Hussey. Both Pnting and Hussey have struggled in recent times, while Pup has held the middle order together - look at the last couple of years - Pup averages 57, Hussey averages 37 and Ponting averages 44. Who is the better test player again ?

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    @Chintan Shah @Peter Greenwell Pls compare the test records of Ponting, Hussey with Clarke's over the last 2 yrs, and u would know what Peter English is talking about....

  • Jmoney90 on May 18, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Over the past season or two, Clarke has scored the most runs which is why in the article he said he was the best. Which is not completely without merit. Vedanthy2 raises a good point, Clarke could take a leaf or two out of Mahela's book.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on May 18, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    I think he deserves some time to adjust. The last thing t-20 needs is for class batsmen like Clarke to have no niche. Mahela,SRT and Kallis to a lesser extent found their niche and the game is better for it. The last thing t-20 needs is sloggers n brawny players dominating and pushing out the genuine batsmen.

  • ashy16in_ on May 18, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    If there is one player who woud benefit by playing in the IPL to hone his skills in this format, it has to be Clarke. Clarke may be the anchor but even an anchor should have a minimum strike rate of 120 in this format. With talented players like Paine, Christian and Bailey waiting in the wings, time seems to be running out for Clarke in the T20 format.

  • on May 18, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    You lost me at "Michael Clarke is the best batsman by far in Australia's Test team". You *must* be kidding.

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    Yeah, complelty agree with Peter, lot of people are criticising Clarke, as if he has no ability. Which of course isn't true, he has got quick feet & hands, and if he can get out of this mental 'I'm a reliable batsman, so can't take any risks' mould, and play his free flowing shots, then nothing can stop him from becoming a very good T20 batsman..

  • on May 18, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    how is michael clarke "by far the best batsman" in the Australian test team when you have Ponting and Hussey ?

  • on May 18, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Clarke the golden boy of aussie cricket is a misfit in the 20 over games. He was the difference between both the teams in the final

  • kwdael on May 18, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Perhaps Clarke's captaincy problems are more to do with inflexibility than slow batting as such. Hussey's innings against Pakistan was amazing, but why Clarke hid his best batsman at number 7 while he pottered around at 3 is unclear. Compare this to Collingwood - not many runs, but not much hubris either. Clarke may well be the best captain for the Australian team, but he would be even better if he could be flexible enough to recognise his own weaknesses prior to the post-match ruminations.

  • vedanthy2 on May 18, 2010, 0:27 GMT

    First instance of a Captain and Key player to have been honest enough to accept that HE failed the team.Mr. Clarke, you can do better hereafter since your feelings are hurt so deep and you are aware.Talk to Mahela J'wardene who is like you in his approach to batting and how he became a slogger(!).Best of Luck.

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  • vedanthy2 on May 18, 2010, 0:27 GMT

    First instance of a Captain and Key player to have been honest enough to accept that HE failed the team.Mr. Clarke, you can do better hereafter since your feelings are hurt so deep and you are aware.Talk to Mahela J'wardene who is like you in his approach to batting and how he became a slogger(!).Best of Luck.

  • kwdael on May 18, 2010, 0:54 GMT

    Perhaps Clarke's captaincy problems are more to do with inflexibility than slow batting as such. Hussey's innings against Pakistan was amazing, but why Clarke hid his best batsman at number 7 while he pottered around at 3 is unclear. Compare this to Collingwood - not many runs, but not much hubris either. Clarke may well be the best captain for the Australian team, but he would be even better if he could be flexible enough to recognise his own weaknesses prior to the post-match ruminations.

  • on May 18, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Clarke the golden boy of aussie cricket is a misfit in the 20 over games. He was the difference between both the teams in the final

  • on May 18, 2010, 1:54 GMT

    how is michael clarke "by far the best batsman" in the Australian test team when you have Ponting and Hussey ?

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 2:16 GMT

    Yeah, complelty agree with Peter, lot of people are criticising Clarke, as if he has no ability. Which of course isn't true, he has got quick feet & hands, and if he can get out of this mental 'I'm a reliable batsman, so can't take any risks' mould, and play his free flowing shots, then nothing can stop him from becoming a very good T20 batsman..

  • on May 18, 2010, 2:24 GMT

    You lost me at "Michael Clarke is the best batsman by far in Australia's Test team". You *must* be kidding.

  • ashy16in_ on May 18, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    If there is one player who woud benefit by playing in the IPL to hone his skills in this format, it has to be Clarke. Clarke may be the anchor but even an anchor should have a minimum strike rate of 120 in this format. With talented players like Paine, Christian and Bailey waiting in the wings, time seems to be running out for Clarke in the T20 format.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on May 18, 2010, 3:07 GMT

    I think he deserves some time to adjust. The last thing t-20 needs is for class batsmen like Clarke to have no niche. Mahela,SRT and Kallis to a lesser extent found their niche and the game is better for it. The last thing t-20 needs is sloggers n brawny players dominating and pushing out the genuine batsmen.

  • Jmoney90 on May 18, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Over the past season or two, Clarke has scored the most runs which is why in the article he said he was the best. Which is not completely without merit. Vedanthy2 raises a good point, Clarke could take a leaf or two out of Mahela's book.

  • Puppster23 on May 18, 2010, 3:22 GMT

    @Chintan Shah @Peter Greenwell Pls compare the test records of Ponting, Hussey with Clarke's over the last 2 yrs, and u would know what Peter English is talking about....