Clarke showing glimpses of old self with steady Gabba knock: Roebuck

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2011, 13:50 PM IST

Sydney: Stand-in Australian captain Michael Clarke has realized that he has two roles to play, and cannot neglect one because the other is not working, cricket columnist Peter Roebuck has claimed.

According to Roebuck, leadership of the Australian squad sits quite easily on Clarke’s shoulders, and this came to the fore in the fifth one-day international against England on Sunday.

“Throughout he changed his bowlers shrewdly, keeping fieldsmen on their toes and generally creating a positive atmosphere. Clearly the captain was still on the bridge and his players responded with a fighting performance,” says Roebuck in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.

“The Australians are beginning to look handy in the field, but the batting is not functioning properly. The hosts ought to have scored 275 and need to find the right tempo before the serious part of the World Cup begins,” he adds.

Roebuck believes that the Australian batsmen are attacking the new ball in a risky manner too soon.

“Far from keeping wickets in hand for the late charge, the hosts piled risk upon risk and paid the penalty. Australia wasted the power play and for the second time in a short campaign did not bat out the 50 overs,” he says.

According to Roebuck, Clarke produced his sweetest knock of the summer, but the tempo seemed too hectic and his downfall did not come as a complete surprise.

But he is heading in the right direction ahead of the World Cup, concludes Roebuck.

ANI