Clarke most likely to succeed Ricky Ponting despite form slump

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

SYDNEY - Michael Clarke, who has failed to handle the responsibility of batting at No.4, remains the man most likely to succeed Ricky Ponting should the captain leave following another almost certain the Ashes defeat.

Clarke’s lean batting form stretches back six months over three series and just as many continents.

Significantly, his slump has coincided with his promotion to fill the No. 4 slot formerly occupied by Michael Hussey, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Since that move, Clarke has averaged less than 22 in eight Tests and passed 50 on only two occasions. Yesterday’s contribution of 13 took his series tally to an unflattering 148 from seven innings at an average of 21.

He has just two more innings to rediscover the form that saw him star against England last year. Should he fail, he will have to wait until next August against Sri Lanka, by which time he may have the added burden of leading a side in transition.

CA chief executive James Sutherland, who has twice backed Clarke this summer over his credentials to succeed Ponting, said: “”Between the board and management of Cricket Australia we’re always looking at ways of developing players, not just the leaders, ensuring they’re making the best possible contribution to Australian cricket.” (ANI)

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