‘I never dreamt of captaining Australia’ – Michael Clarke opens up on his captaincy days, shares how he saved Ricky Ponting from being axed


‘I never dreamt of captaining Australia’ – Michael Clarke opens up on his captaincy days, shares how he saved Ricky Ponting from being axed

Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke

Ricky Ponting is one of the best ever to grace the game of cricket. The former Australian skipper has several batting records to his name while his exemplary leadership skills helped Australian cricket to the pinnacle of success in the 2000s. But the Aussie maestro faltered with the bat in his final days before he hung his boots.

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Ponting was a stalwart of the game Ponting 13704 runs at an average of 42.04 in 375 ODIs. and 13378 runs in 168 Test matches. Towards the fag end of his career, his form tailed off as he struggled to get going in the middle. Former Aussie skipper Michael Clarke shares that selectors were ready to drop the legend but he ‘fought hard’ to keep him in the side.

When I took over the captaincy, that’s why I fought to keep Ricky,” Clarke told former NRL star Brett Finch on his Uncensored podcast. “The selectors said, ‘Very rarely does a captain stand down and stay in the team, so if you don’t feel comfortable … it’s time for Ricky to go’.

I said, ‘We need him. We need him for his batting, but he’ll be another coach for us’. So I fought hard to keep him, I wanted him there. I thought he played a big part in helping that younger generation get to the level we needed to. If he was batting at 80 per cent, he was better than anybody else at No. 3 or No. 4. We think the grass is greener all the time, Very rarely is it.

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“I hated being called the next captain,” Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke

Clarke broke unto the international side as a youngster with tremendous potential. The New South Welshman proved his might before seizing the reigns from Ponting in the early 2010s. Michael Clarke shares that he never dreamt of leading the Kangaroos and hated the burden of expectations when he was the vice captain.

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I dreamt of playing for Australia but I never dreamt of captaining Australia,” Clarke said. “I found it really difficult when I was vice-captain that there was an expectation that I was always going to be the next captain. I hated that. I would rather have stayed a youngster, or be captain. I wasn’t very good at the in-between.

Earlier this year, the Aussies lost their second straight home Test series against India. The visitors clinched the series with a resounding win at the Gabba in the final Test. Clarke feels that the hosts were caught short by their ‘tad negative’ thought process in patches of the game.

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I thought we might have been a tad negative at certain stages throughout because we were scared to lose versus attack hard and look to win the game,” Clarke opines. “At the end of the day, whether we lost with 20 overs left in the game or on the last ball of the game, it didn’t matter. We had to win that game to win that trophy. “I sort of feel we should have approached the first ball of that game to the last ball of that game with a bit more of that attitude.

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