Monday, September 14, 2009

Michael Clarke be worthy of the first crack at captaincy

Cricket Australia is yet to make known who will lead the team following Ponting's verdict to retire from Twenty20 internationals to focus on his Test and one-day career, but Ponting believes the 28-year-old Clarke, who was skipper for Australia's first three one-day internationals against England has earned his stripes.

''Michael has done a tremendous job in my absence, be it in Twenty20 or 50-over cricket. He's continued to grow as a player and a leader," said by Ponting.

''I know Cricket Australia said at my notice they'd wait until later in the year before they name the captain, but Michael's done everything right and deserves the first crack at it,'' Ponting added.

In the meantime, Ponting has made it clear he wants to return to England for the 2013 Ashes.

Ponting said that having made the resolution to retire from Twenty20 cricket internationally, he was hopeful about make longer his Test career and making it to the 2013 Ashes squad.

''It's hopefully going to give me a better opportunity to be able to do that and come back here,''

Ponting, who would be 38 by then, further said: When I made that announcement, it was about me wanting to play at the level I feel I can play at in 50-over cricket and Test cricket.

"With 20-over international cricket there at the moment it was just making it harder to be physically fit and mentally sharp for every game that I was playing. I looked at the tour very closely and over the next 12 months it's an opportunity to have up to another four-week break. That's going to hold me in good stead down the track.''

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