Clarke quits T20 after Ashes debacle
Sydney: Distraught after the humiliating Ashes loss to England, Australia’s Twenty20 captain Michael Clarke on Friday quit cricket’s shortest format to revive his batting which was a major disappointment during the doomed campaign.
Australia lost the Ashes 1-3 after going down by an innings and 83 runs in the fifth and final Test here on Friday.
Clarke, who could not make much of an impact with his bat during the series and was criticised for being too slow in scoring, said he would look to regain the lost form by giving up Twenty20.
“I’m retiring from international T20 cricket and looking back on this series my Test cricket isn’t where I want it at the moment,” Clarke said.
“So I guess that gives me the opportunity now to focus wholly and solely on Test and one-day cricket and to use that time to play more domestic and first-class cricket for NSW and become a better Test player. I’ve always said Test cricket is the ultimate for me and this gives me that opportunity,” he added.
Clarke captained the side here after regular skipper Ricky Ponting was ruled out due to injury. The 29-year-old said he has not proved to be much of a success in Twenty20.
“My T20 performances haven’t been that great so it made my decision easier, but my main focus is to firstly become a better Test cricketer and also to help the team as the vice-captain, do whatever I can to help this team turn it around,” said Clarke.
“It’s probably happened because of these five Test matches, probably because of my performances in these five Test matches.”
“T20 cricket now has brought another form of the game to Australian cricket and to world cricket. I think Australian players are looking at T20 cricket as a way of the future even if they don’t want to play Test or one-day cricket,” he added.
Clarke said he firmly believed that he could not thrive in all three formats of the game. In 34 Twenty20s for Australia, Clarke averaged 21.21 with a strike-rate of 103.17.
“I 100 percent believe, though, that everyone in the dressing room wants to play Test and one-day cricket for Australia and the guys involved in T20 and one-day cricket are stoked to be playing all three forms but their focus is definitely Test cricket.
“It’s very individual because I’m certain there are players who can play all three forms of the game,” he said.
“I’m probably not one of them, I’ve worked out that for me to be the best Test cricketer I can be, the best one-day cricketer I can be I need to focus on those two forms,” he added.