Clarke needs to be tougher batsman to win over Oz fans: Dean Jones

Saturday, January 1, 2011

SYDNEY - Australian stand-in captain Michael Clarke must start making runs to win the hearts of Australian fans again, according to former batsman Dean Jones.

Clarke was named captain after Ricky Ponting was ruled out of the match after x-rays on his broken finger showed that the fracture had moved during this week’s fourth Test loss at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“The public doesn’t want to look at its Test captain’s six-pack. It wants its sporting leaders to be in the mould of Ian Chappell, Allan Border, Ricky Ponting or Steve Waugh. It wants guys who look tough. It wants leaders who you’d love to have a beer with,” Jones wrote in an article for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“It doesn’t want its captains throwing their wicket away or getting out softly in the last over of the day. Simply, Clarke just needs to play tougher as a batsman. What he needs is to play an innings that will change everyone’s mind about him.”

“Every great Australian cricketer has saved a match from nowhere and turned the game on its head. Clarke has yet to do that. I don’t mean that he needs to make a hundred from 60 balls. It could be a hundred that takes six hours to make. We need a performance than signifies who he really is as a cricketer and captain,” he added.

Clarke has scored just 148 runs in the ongoing series at an average of 21.14 - a far cry from last year’s Ashes where he was Australia’s leading scorer with 448 at an average of 64.

Australia currently trails the five-match series 2-1, with the final Test to be played in Sydney from January 2. (ANI)

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