Clarke plays down promotion
Michael Clarke says he is not getting carried away with his promotion to the captaincy for the upcoming Twenty20 clash against NZ.cricket Updated: Dec 11, 2007 10:25 IST
Michael Clarke said Monday he was not getting carried away with his promotion to the Australian captaincy for the upcoming Twenty20 clash against New Zealand at the WACA Ground.
Clarke, 26, will captain Australia at international level for the first time against the Black Caps and become the youngest player to lead the country since Kim Hughes, then 25, was made skipper in a Test against Pakistan at the same venue in 1979.
Regular captain Ricky Ponting is not playing against the Kiwis on Tuesday and Clarke's elevation has many suggesting he is being groomed as the man to take over from Ponting when the Tasmanian eventually retires.
However, the prodigious talent known by teammates as "Pup" said he was not viewing the decision that way, the pain of being dropped from the Test team in 2005 still fresh in his mind.
Clarke said he lost his way at Test level by getting ahead of himself and doesn't plan to make the same mistake again. "I am trying not to look past this game," he said.
"I have been given a chance for one game and I am going to try to make the most of that. I don't want to look too far ahead, Ricky is our leader and a fantastic one at that and I'll just enjoy the opportunity.
"There has been a lot made of it in the media of late, and I am honoured for people to say the things they have said, but I have seen the other side (of cricket)."
Because of his relative youth compared with most of his teammates, Clarke has been widely regarded as the logical long-term successor to Ponting.
However, both Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh have recently cautioned against drawing such assumptions and Clarke said he agreed with them.
"There are a lot of guys in the team who could captain the Australian team and Ricky is only 32," he said.
"Who knows what will happen, it is so far away, and my priority is just to focus on what is in front of me now." While expecting to be a little nervous, Clarke admitted the chance to lead an Australian team was a dream come true.
"It is going to be a new experience for me," he said. "It is obviously something I've always wanted to do, I think any young kid dreams of captaining their country in any form of the game.
"It is going to be a challenge, but it is going to be a great opportunity to find out what I bring to the team as a leader." Clarke said he had learnt a lot about leadership from senior Test teammates.
"I'm always asking questions, trying to find out what guys are thinking," he said. "We are lucky in the Australian team to have a lot of experience and hopefully it will hold me in good stead tomorrow night."
Clarke said the Australians wouldn't settle on their final side until the morning of the match. He admitted Australia was still coming to terms with the nuances of the newest form of international cricket, as compared to one-day internationals, but was already looking towards the 2009 Twenty20 world championships.
Teams: Australia -- (from) Michael Clarke (capt), Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Mike Hussey, Brad Hodge, Adam Voges, Ashley Noffke, Brett Lee, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait.
New Zealand -- (from) Daniel Vettori (capt), Brendon McCullum, Craig Cumming, Mark Gillespie, Gareth Hopkins, Jamie How, Chris Martin, Michael Mason, Kyle Mills, Jacob Oram, Jeetan Patel, Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor, Lou Vincent.