Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke has revealed how he ‘fought’ to save Ricky Ponting from getting axed after Clarke was promoted to the position of captain. Clarke said that selectors gave him an option of sidelining the Australian legend but Clarke rejected it outright.
“When I took over the captaincy, I fought to keep Ricky,” said Michael Clarke while speaking on the Uncensored podcast.
“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’. 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.”
Clarke further said that he hated being vice captain as he knew he will be next in line. “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.”
Ponting played six more Test match under Clarke’s leadership before retiring in 2012 where he played his final Test match against South Africa. The Aussie legend revealed in his autobiography that Clarke never took responsibility as his deputy.
“It wasn’t that he was disruptive or treacherous, and publicly he said all the right things, but he had never been one to get too involved in planning sessions or debriefs at the end of a day’s play, or to volunteer to take on any of the captain’s workload."