New Australian Test skipper Michael Clarke has promised a return to ”old-fashioned basics” and rubbished concerns Ricky Ponting could cramp his captaincy style.
On the day of his coronation as Ponting’s successor, Clarke rejected the notion that the 152-Test former leader would be an ”elephant in the dressing room”, making it more difficult for him to stamp his own mark on the team.
The NSW batsman, who turns 30 on Saturday, stressed he was keen to keep taking advice and learning from his predecessor.
That will start with next month’s ODI tour of Bangladesh where Ponting will continue his career as a batsman after resigning from the captaincy on Tuesday.
”I certainly don’t think Ricky is any elephant in any room,” Clarke said at a Sydney press conference on today.
‘I know he’ll allow me do my job to the best of my ability.
”He’s been an amazing player for a long time and I think Bangladesh will be a great test for that to see how it all unfolds.
”I’m confident that if he can continue to play as well as he has done for such a long time, I’m certain it can work.”
Ponting’s official heir-apparent since being appointed Australian Twenty20 captain in 2008, Clarke said he was surprised when Ponting relinquished the Test and one-day leadership in the wake of the dual Ashes and World Cup failures.
But he was adamant Australia had the talent to get back to the top of the world rankings with plenty of hard work.
”The key for me is we go back to old-fashioned basics. That’s batting, bowling and fielding,” Clarke said.
”That’s one thing I will push with coach Tim Nielsen.
”I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.
”We want to be the best team in all forms and that is going to take time.”
Clarke will be joined by allrounder Shane Watson as Australia’s new leadership team, with the reigning Allan Border Medallist named vice-captain.
CA chairman Jack Clarke said Clarke had proven to be a fine captain while standing in for Ponting, including in Australia’s 6-1 one-day international series triumph over England this summer.
”Michael has shown himself to be excellent with his on-field tactics when heading the national side,” he said.
Chief selector Andrew Hilditch endorsed 36-year-old Ponting’s decision to play on and expected it would give him a new lease of life in his 152-Test career.
Watson, who was also made Twenty20 vice-captain as deputy to Cameron White, was stunned by his ascension following an injury-plagued start to his international career, which only abated in 2009.
”It really has been an amazing couple of years and something that I never really thought would be coming my way after the previous part of my career when I struggled to get on the field,” he said.
”It’s still hard for me to get my head around.”
Clarke, a stand-in skipper in the fifth Ashes Test in January when Ponting was sidelined with a broken finger, will lead Australia on a Test tour for the first time in August when they travel to Sri Lanka.
AUSTRALIAN SQUAD TO TOUR BANGLADESH
Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, John Hastings, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Ricky Ponting, Steve Smith, Cameron White
With stuff.co.nz/AAP input