Clarke quits T20 after Australia's Ashes loss | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Clarke quits T20 after Australia's Ashes loss

Australia's Test cricket woes have thrown the Twenty20 team's preparations into disarray, with disillusioned skipper Michael Clarke quitting the format after struggling with the bat during the 3-1 loss in the Ashes.

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2011 23:48 IST

Australia's Test cricket woes have thrown the Twenty20 team's preparations into disarray, with disillusioned skipper Michael Clarke quitting the format after struggling with the bat during the 3-1 loss in the Ashes.

Clarke, who replaced the injured Ricky Ponting as captain for the fifth and final Ashes Test, led Australia to the final of the T20 World Cup earlier this year but said he wanted more time to become a better test player.

"I'm retiring from international Twenty20 cricket," the batsman said after leading Australia to an innings and 83-run defeat to England in the Sydney Test on Friday.

"I guess, looking back on this series, my test cricket isn't where I want it at the moment.

"(It) gives me the opportunity to focus wholly and solely on test cricket and one-day and to use that time to play more domestic or first-class cricket for New South Wales and become a better test player.

"I've always said test cricket is the ultimate for me, " Clarke said.

"This gives me that opportunity," added the 29-year-old, who managed a sole half-century in nine innings during the Ashes series.

Clarke was praised for his captaincy during the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean, where Australia were beaten in the final by bitter rivals England, but finished with the lowest average of Australia's specialist batsmen.

"Obviously my T20 performances haven't been that great, which made the decision that much easier," he said.

Cameron White, captain of Victoria state, has been named in Clarke's place for the two T20 matches against England in Adelaide on Jan. 12 and Melbourne two days later.

Clarke was burdened with the task of leading a demoralised Australia into the final test in Sydney after Ponting was ruled out by his finger injury.