Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has revealed how he fought tooth and nail with the selectors to save his predecessor Ricky Ponting from getting dropped after he took over the leadership in 2011.
Michael Clarke was appointed the Australian Cricket Team’s captain after two-time World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting relinquished the post after Australias suffered their first Ashes drubbing at home [1-3 in 2010/11] in over 20 years followed by their exit from the 2011 World Cup in the Quarter-final stage.
Generally, Australian captains are either dropped from the team or they call it quits once they relinquish the leadership duties. And, in Ponting’s case too, the selectors were keen on dropping the former captain in order to give Michael Clarke a fresh environment.
However, Michael Clarke revealed that he insisted on having Ricky Ponting because of his vast experience as he felt that the presence of a proven performer like Punter will help the youngsters in his team.
”When I took over the captaincy, that’s why I fought to keep Ricky. The selectors said, ‘Very rarely does a captain stand down and stay in the team, so if you don’t feel comfortable … it’s time for Ricky to go’,” revealed Michael Clarke during his conversation with former NRL star Brett Finch on his ‘Uncensored Podcast’
“I said, ‘We need him. We need him for his batting, but he’ll be another coach for us’. So I fought hard to keep him, I wanted him there. I thought he played a big part in helping that younger generation get to the level we needed to. If he was batting at 80 percent, he was better than anybody else at No. 3 or No. 4. We think the grass is greener all the time. Very rarely is it.” he added.
‘I never dreamt of captaining Australia’- Michael Clarke
Back in 2013, Ricky Ponting had revealed in his autobiography that he did not feel as supported by his understudy, Michael Clarke.
Clarke, who later testified the same in his own autobiography, admitted that he did not feel comfortable in the ‘in-between’ role because of the long wait for the inevitable to happen.
”I dreamt of playing for Australia, but I never dreamt of captaining Australia. I found it really difficult when I was vice-captain that there was an expectation that I was always going to be the next captain. I hated that. I would rather have stayed a youngster or be captain. I wasn’t very good at the in-between,” added the 40-year-old.
Ricky Ponting featured in 16 Tests under the leadership of Michael Clarke, in which he managed 1015 runs at an average of 37.59 before he eventually called it quits during the 2012 home summer following the Test series defeat against South Africa.