Melbourne: Australian vice captain Michael Clarke, who is India for the two Test series, described how devastated he felt when he was dropped from the team in 2005.
“It was the Hobart Test against the West Indies in 2005. I actually said to Ricky after the first innings of that game, if I’m going to get dropped, I want to hear it from you. I respected him a lot and wanted him to tell me instead of anyone else,” Clarke said.
“He was my captain, so he was the guy I was letting down by not performing. I’d let down myself, I’d let down the other blokes in the team, but I’d let him down because he was our leader. We got to the end of the Test and he started coming over to me. I was thinking here we go, I’m gone. I felt sick. Punter just got straight to the point.
“David Boon was there, too, as the selector on duty. They were supportive but they had to hit me with the truth. I wasn’t scoring runs so I had to be sacked. I knew it was coming because if you’re not scoring runs, you deserve what you get,” he said.
“I was expecting it, but when I actually heard the words coming out of Punter’s mouth - I was gutted, to be honest with you,” said Clarke.
Ponting had been Test skipper for a year and Clarke was out on his ear.
“I asked Punter if I could fly home that night. We won the Test, but if I stayed, I would have dragged everyone down. I went straight from the airport in Sydney to Mum and Dad’s and I was just shattered. There’s no other word for it,” he said.