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Rediff.com  » Cricket » There are lot of reasons to support Clarke: Chappell

There are lot of reasons to support Clarke: Chappell

January 25, 2011 14:05 IST

Highly impressed with Australian stand-in-skipper Michael Clarke's captaincy, the national selector Greg Chappell said that the selection panel was thrilled with his leadership qualities. 

"The selection panel I can speak for -- we've been delighted with his leadership," Chappell said. 

"His captaincy in the first three games has been excellent. His strategies, bowling changes, everything that he's done -- not least winning matches -- has been good, and I'm sure that will only be good for him," the former Indian cricket team coach told the Sydney Morning Herald

Under the able leadership of 29-year-old Clarke, the Aussies have managed to draw a favourable result with a 3-0  lead in the ongoing seven-match ODI series against England.

The Kangaroos are now just a victory away from sealing the series, which is quite significant keeping in view the dismal show put up by them during the 3-1 Ashes loss. 

Michael ClarkeHowever, Clarke himself has been going through a rough patch as he has failed miserably with the bat during the recent Ashes drubbing, scoring just 193 runs at an average of 21.44 and there were hardly any signs of revival in his form during the first three one-dayers of the series. 

Comparing Clarke's bad run of form to that of Mr Dependable Michael Hussey, Chappell said, "It was only a few months ago everybody wanted Mike Hussey out of the team and we knew that Mike was a seasoned performer and had performed in big games before, and we felt confident that given the opportunity he could do it again. 

"We feel similarly about Michael (Clarke) that given the team's going well as it is, his leadership's going well as it is, we have a lot of reasons to support him at this time. 

"I think his last one-day game in India he made a hundred, he's performed well in India, he's a big-match performer and when you've got those proven performers you don't discard them lightly," Chappell insisted.

Clarke's excellence as the leader has won him an opportunity to lift himself out of the slump and deposing faith in his ability, Chappell, who famously said, "I'm not batting badly, I'm just getting out" during a bad patch in the early 1980s, reiterated that the batsman could be just one ball away from "being back in form and full of confidence." 

Meanwhile, former Test captain Mark Taylor, who bailed himself out of an ugly run of form during 1996-97 added that the right hander should stop hitting the ball in the air. 

"If he looks at the last couple of dismissals, he's been caught at cover point and caught at mid-wicket," Taylor said.

"They're not the shots of a guy who's feeling for the ball, who's nicking them behind, getting bowled or getting trapped in front -- not seeing the ball. 

"Unfortunately he's hitting the ball in the air in front of the wicket. He's making opportunities for the fielding side. That's an area he can improve. If he's going to hit them in the air, whack them over the top," Taylor added.

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