Melbourne: Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke needs one authority-stamping knock in international cricket to make heads turn and establish his credentials as the man best suited to succeed Ricky Ponting as skipper, feels former batsman Dean Jones.
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“Due to the lack of a signature innings, his (Clarke’s) reputation is not quite as strong as it should be,” says Jones in an article for The Age.
“I am a huge Michael Clarke fan. I believe he will captain Australia in the future and will probably take over from Ricky Ponting if Australia does not win the upcoming Ashes series. In saying that, I feel that, for some reason, or reasons, Australian cricket fans have not got the same belief I have in the man from New South Wales,” he adds.
“There is definitely an opinion going around that Clarke may not be able to handle the pressure of Test captaincy. I believe exactly the opposite. Yes, he needs to get closer to the players and lead by example on the ground - do the tough things and keep his standards high. Then the players will follow him, as we did when we were kids and Allan Border was captain,” Jones said.
According to Jones, Clarke is one hell of a Test cricketer. He is the best player of spin in the team and probably the best runner between the wickets.
“Maybe the reason why the fans haven’t warmed to Clarke is that he hasn’t made that all-time “mind-blowing knock” that has put him “on the map”. He has made 14 hundreds but that doesn’t seem to be enough. However, he has earned the right to be one of the candidates to captain Australia,” Jones concludes.