Clarke says he will remain friends with Ponting despite his axing from Oz ODI squad

Melbourne: Australian captain Michael Clarke has said that he will continue working with veteran batsman Ricky Ponting as a team-mate despite being a party to a tough decision to axe the latter from the one- day squad.

"I`m 100 per cent part of the selection panel. That`s now part of the captain`s job. We`ve made this decision as a panel. It is tough not having the great Ricky Ponting out there playing for us but that`s the decision we`ve made. Obviously the 2015 World Cup is something we have spoken about as a panel. I`m 100 per cent part of that,” Clarke told a newspaper.

"Ricky was captain for a long time and while he wasn`t a selector he played a big part in selecting the 11 players that took the field. I remember getting dropped after the Test match against the West Indies and Punter was the one who came up and told me I hadn`t been selected. He certainly knows it`s not personal. I`m very confident our friendship is a lot stronger than that," he added.

Clarke said he hoped Ponting would play "a lot more Test cricket", but added that Ponting’s exit from the one-day format implied that senior players in the squad would have to stand up and fill the breach.

"I`ve been great friends with Punter for a long time and that certainly won`t change. But I`ve also played a lot of one-day cricket with him and it`s going to feel really weird looking around the field and not seeing him there," Clarke said.

"I`ll miss his guidance … his friendship, his experience around the group, his knowledge of this game. They are things that no matter how much talent you have as a young player, the experience and knowledge of the game you need to learn," he added.

ANI

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