Michael Clarke is a T20 Liability

Malcolm Conn, the Aussie cricket journalist, writes: Michael Clarke is becoming the modern-day Mike Brearley.

Brearley was renowned for his tactical brain and man management skills.

When it comes to Clarke in T20, there are not many runs, no tactical skills to show, and instead of inspiring his team - he is destroying some of their best T20 players.

Leading up to the T20 WC final tomorrow, check out the batting record of Australian players.

Player Mat I NO Runs HS Ave   BF   SR   100 50 0 4s   6s
MEK Hussey  6 5 3 171 60*  85.5 97 176.28 0 1 0 12 9
CL White  6 6 3 150 85*  50 104 144.23 0 1 0 6 11
SR Watson  6 6 0 161 81 26.83 108 149.07 0 2 0 10 11
DA Warner  6 6 0 148 72 24.66 97 152.57 0 1 1 13 10
DJ Hussey  6 6 1 120 53 24 83 144.57 0 1 1 6 8
BJ Haddin  6 6 0 97 42 16.16 94 103.19 0 0 0 10 2
MJ Clarke  6 5 0 65 17 13 87 74.71 0 0 0 2 1
SPD Smith  6 4 1 33 27 11 24 137.5 0 0 1 2 2
MG Johnson  5 2 1 5 5*  5 4 125 0 0 1 1 0
SW Tait  6 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0
RJ Harris  1 1 1 2 2*  1 200 0 0 0 0 0
DP Nannes  6 1 1 0 0*  1 0 0 0 0 0 0


Their best two players occupy the top two slots as well; Michael Hussey and Cameron White. By no mean any freak performance by the two. Both have been consistent whenever they've got a chance to bat. Shouldn't those two be batting maximum overs as possible to score as many runs in a 20-over game?

C A P T A I N C Y

In the semifinal, chasing 192 for a win, Clarke sent Brad Haddin in at #3. Perhaps as a pinch hitter to get on with it during the PowerPlay... instead Haddin went there and tried to bat like a frontline batsman - trying to get into some form. No one is questioning Haddin's ability as an international batsman - but clearly the Hussey brothers and White are in better form and touch.

Shouldn't White have gone in at #3? He did really well, batting up the order in limited over games in England, when Ponting was away from the team. Batting at #3, White would have got a chance to settle down and play some big shots.

Same is the case with both Hussey brothers. These three batsmen should be batting 3-4-5.

Haddin batted at #7 in the first game of the T20 WC against Pakistan. After that, he has been batting at 4, 4, 3, 4 and 3. Great captaincy by Pups.

Haddin has scored 97 runs off 94 balls, at a strike rate of 103. He made 42 off 46 balls against Sri Lanka. In the other five games, 55 runs off 48 balls. That's an average of 11 runs - clearly saying he is out of form. But Captain Pups can't be wrong.

This is what Cricket Australia had to say about Clarke's captaincy and role in the team. Definitely the employer, CA, is watching a different game.


"We're talking about a new-age sport that is writing its own rules about the concepts that count and Michael Clarke is a new-age all-rounder, T20 cricketer who understands the needs of the new game," a CA spokesman said.

"He can get through overs quickly, efficiently and effectively and take wickets and he's a batsman willing to sacrifice himself for the team going down the order.

"He's undefeated as a captain, which is exceptional."


Is he really willing to sacrifice and bat down the order?

Against Pakistan @3, Bangladesh @3, India DNB, Sri Lanka @4, West Indies @3 and Pakistan @4


As a captain he has been very willing to sacrifice Cameron White, David and Michael Hussey.

White poses a threat to his T20 Captaincy. Isn't that a good enough reason for sacrificing him?  The record is in front of us.

There have been rumours that Clarke got Symonds out of the team, removing any T20 challenge from him. If one were to look at the White Sacrifice situation - it all looks too bad.

Why CA had to bat for Clarke regarding the batting position is beyond me.

By pushing Haddin and himself up the order, Clarke is definitely ruining the opportunities - that too very limited - David Hussey is getting - to make a big T20 score. When it comes to ability and form, David is a much much better T20 batsman than Haddin and Clarke.

Clarke's current strategy might very well ruin David Hussey's T20 career. Perhaps that's what the skipper really wants.


F O R M

On form Haddin should bat way down the order. Australia should get White, David and Michael to bat at 3 - 4 - 5.

What about the Captain's form?

The numbers just don't lie, skipper. 65 runs off 87 balls. TWO Fours and ONE Six in the whole tournament.

The best place for Clarke is outside the playing XI.

A few days earlier, CricInfo had published an article on how Ian Chappell rates captains.

Mike Brearley, the England captain famous for his tactical nous but not his cricketing talent, was not on Chappell's list. "I think I would say about Mike Brearley that I always thought it was hard enough to win a game when you are playing 11 v 11. Why are you going into the game with 10 v 11?"

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