Byline By- Vinayak Heliwal
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has made a big revelation that he fought tooth and nail with the selectors to save his predecessor Ricky Ponting from getting dropped after he took the leadership in 2011.
Ricky Ponting stepped down as Captain in 2011, and Clarke, his Vice Captain at the time, ascended to the throne. While his output with the bat wasn’t prolific as it was during his entire career but Ponting remained committed to staying on and nursing the next generation of cricketers through the ranks.
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 to give Michael Clarke a fresh environment.
Surprisingly, Micheal Clarke revealed that he insisted on having Ricky Ponting by his side because of his vast experience as he felt that the presence of a proven performance 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.
For the unversed in 2013, Ponting in his autobiography revealed that he didn’t get the support he expected to from Clarke. The latter admitted the same in his autobiography as well.
Clarke, who later testified the same in his 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 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.
Ponting played 16 Tests under Clarke between 2011 and late 2012 and scored 1,015 runs. His average was 37.59, which is comparatively less than his career average.