Clarke happy to ‘run things’ past Ponting

Sunday, January 2, 2011

SYDNEY - Michael Clarke, who leads Australia against England in the fifth Ashes Test here Monday, says he is comfortable with injured skipper Ricky Ponting’s presence at the nets and is happy he can “run things by him.”

Ponting, who lives in Sydney, has spent the past two days bowling throw downs in the nets to the Australian batsmen and advising Clarke, who is struggling for runs, and Usman Khawaja, who takes his place in the order at three.

“Oh, no, I’m very comfortable,” Clarke was quoted as saying in Daily Telegraph Sunday. “I spoke to Ricky openly when I found out he wasn’t going to play this Test match and actually asked how he felt about being around.”

“I think you’ve already seen at training the last couple of days he’s had a chance to help all the guys that have gone to him and asked for help.

“It’s probably a little bit easier for him to do that while he’s not playing during this game because he hasn’t got the added responsibility of doing his own preparation.

“Ricky being around throughout this Test match is a great thing for all the players but especially for me to have this chance to be captain. I can run things by him and I think it’s pretty important for the team to have him around,” he said.

Clarke, however, insisted he will be in charge when the baggy greens take to the field and hope to level the series.

“I have to be true to myself,” he said. “Some people are going to like that, some people aren’t. It is my own team. Ricky’s made that very clear. That all the decisions that are made will come from the people, the selectors firstly, to pick the team but once I take that field they will come from me.”

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