St. Lucia (West Indies): Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin has described skipper Michael Clarke as one of the best in the business in the modern era, and rubbished criticism about his form in the ongoing World Twenty20 championship in the Caribbean.
Clarke has made just 48 runs in the World T20 at an average of 12, but has had more success with his captaincy, guiding Australia to five wins from five outings.
His strike-rate in the tournament of 70.58 ranks him well below the other five batsmen in Australia`s top six, but Haddin says the skipper is desperately needed when Australia`s openers fail to fire.
"Michael`s still our best player. He`s still a world-class batsman. Class is always class. The role he plays here can`t be underestimated," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Haddin, as saying.
"Michael is there to do the role that`s pretty tough, running hard between the wickets. He comes out when we`re in trouble. You need explosive batsmen but you need players like Michael to play in any different situations," he added.
"His captaincy has been first class. All the teams have explosive bats and world-class bowlers, but what he`s brought to us is make sure we`re doing our little things best, a presence in the field, taking all the catches," Haddin said.