Ian Chappell advises Michael Clarke to move up batting order
Melbourne: Former Australian Test captain Ian Chappell has advised current skipper Michael Clarke to move up the order to restore some substance to the batting that has seen a carnage in the second Ashes Test at Lord`s.
The latest batting failure however, followed a brilliant bowling performance by Ryan Harris and some imaginative captaincy from Clarke, whose judicious early use of Shane Watson put sacked coach Mickey Arthur`s damages claim in perspective and also succeeded in obtaining a breakthrough.
Stating that the only place the Clarke-Watson relationship needs to work is on the field, Chappell said that Clarke was at his gambling, instinctive best when he used Steve Smith as a partnership breaker when the England innings was rebuilding, adding that the success of the move should convince Smith that he cannot afford to abandon his bowling.
However, Chappell denigrated Clarke`s move to his favoured No. 5 spot as nonsensical despite the figures, saying that he needed to shield the team by batting at three and cannot afford to protect himself by batting at five, like he did when former captain Ricky Ponting was at three and Michael Hussey was at six.
Stating that it is harder to mount a comeback from lower in the order against England bowling, especially with brittle batsmanship, Chappell further said that Clarke should be aware that one mistake could be fatal and have an adverse effect on his stroke play, adding that until an extended trial, the odd innings are no proof that Clarke cannot succeed at No.3.
According to Chappell, Clarke has to apply the mindset of being a strong willed and a successful captain while batting up the order and backed him to take on the crucial challenge with the help of Harris and Peter Siddle.
Although Chappell refused to compare Clarke with Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman, he, however, praised Clarke for being the only batsman in the current squad to amass a triple century and multiple double centuries, adding that even though promoting himself to No.3 is a risk, it may be Australia`s only chance to bring back the urn.
Stating that Australia is headed for another deficit due to a batting collapse, Chappell further said that unless the batsmen muster up some fortitude or reincarnate Bradman, the urn would remain in storage close by the scene of their latest carnage.