Waugh, Hayden endorse Clarke`s captaincy of Oz

Updated: May 13, 2010, 20:26 PM IST

Melbourne: Michael Clarke as Australia`s Twenty20 captain has been endorsed by former greats despite passing through a poor run of form during the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean.

Steve Waugh and Matthew Hayden have backed Clarke as Australia`s captain for the shorter version of the game.

Undefeated Australia are favourite to win the tournament and will meet Pakistan in the semi-finals after beating West Indies in the last Super Eights game, but Clarke failed again.

He was run out for just 16 from 24 balls as Australia passed West Indies` 105 with six wickets in hand and almost four overs to spare, FOX Sports reports.

By contrast, his leadership has been outstanding since he was appointed Australia`s Twenty20 captain at the start of the summer.

He has not lost in 13 matches, winning 11, tying one and one incomplete match.

Waugh said there should be no question about Clarke`s place in the team. "Form is temporary, class is permanent. He`s a good enough player to adapt to that form of the game."

"I don`t see that as a big issue right now. A lot of people are saying he needs to up the ante but if he`s encouraging players around him and getting the best out of them that`s great for the team. He scores quick enough in my mind to be successful at T20," Waugh said.

Hayden, a Cricket Australia board member since his international retirement, praised Clarke`s captaincy.

"As a leader he`s a valuable resource. I believe he`s going to lead Australia to its first Twenty20 championship and I`ll be the first in line to say, well done," Hayden said.