Sydney: Former Australia captain and selector Greg Chappell, believes captain Michael Clarke should rise up the batting order to number 4 in the wake of Ricky Ponting`s retirement, despite having a poor record in the position.
The exit of Ponting after 17 years in the Australian top order leaves Clarke and his fellow selectors with much to consider before the coming three-match home series against Sri Lanka.
Chappell, who is Cricket Australia`s national talent manager, is in little doubt about which point Clarke should be walking to the middle.
“I`ve always felt that you want your best batsman batting as high up the order as possible,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Chappell, as saying.
“He`s probably not a No.3, considering his temperament and that he`s done most of his batting elsewhere, so probably No.4 is the right spot for him,” he added.
The only complication is the fact Clarke has not enjoyed anywhere near as successful a record higher up the order.
In 28 innings at No.4, the 31-year-old has averaged only 20.93, an 18-month period that came to an end on last September`s tour of Sri Lanka.
Since shifting back down a spot, he has been a run machine, compiling seven centuries, one of them a triple, three of them doubles at an average of 76.45.
However Chappell argues Clarke`s previous posting at No.4 is of minimal relevance.
“I think he`s a very different player now and that shouldn`t be a concern,” Chappell said.
“The huge difference to Michael Clarke from days gone by to now is [he is] much more positive and really backing himself. The batting line-up would work just as well with him at No.4 as it does with him at No.5,” he added.