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Twenty20 Place In Jeopardy Concedes By Clarke

Posted by on Monday, May 17, 2010, 13:51
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BRIDGETOWN, May 17, 2010 (AFP) – Australia Twenty20 captain Michael Clarke admitted his place was under threat after a poor run of form continued in a seven-wicket World Twenty20 final loss to England.

Clarke, batting at No 3, was involved in the run out of hard-hitting opener David Warner as Australia collapsed to eight for three at the Kensington Oval here on Sunday, He himself made just 27 — but that was still his best score of the tournament — in a total of 147 for six and Clarke ended the event with 92 runs at a meagre average of 15.33.

More powerful hitters in Australia’s top order were largely able to cover for Clarke’s lack of runs and with remarkable frankness, he told reporters: “There’s no doubt the selectors will need to have a look at my performances.

“I certainly know they haven’t been up to scratch through this whole tournament and probably in Twenty20 cricket in general.

“I’m sure the selectors will sit down and have a look and if I’m not the right guy for No 3 and the captaincy then they’ll make that decision,” added the 29-year-old.

Clarke, the Test and one-day vice-captain, was the natural choice to inherit the leadership when regular skipper Ricky Ponting retired from Twenty20 international cricket.

Up until the final, Australia had been unbeaten at this World Twenty20, having been knocked out in the first round in England last year.

But in left-arm quick Dirk Nannes, fast bowler Shaun Tait and the Hussey brothers, Michael and David, they appear to have the nucleus of a fine Twenty20 line-up.

Clarke certainly relished leading his side to what was a first World Twenty20 final for both Australia and England.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute it,” Clarke said. “Captaining your country is a wonderful thing and I’ve been very lucky to get that chance.

“I’m stoked to have been given this opportunity to lead the Twenty20 team. There are no guarantees in this world and it’s about getting back and preparing for the next tournament.

“I’ll be back as vice-captain (in the Test side) which I really enjoy and we have a wonderful leader (Ponting) back in Australia.”

England cruised to victory, with three overs to spare, following a second-wicket stand of 111 between South Africa born duo Craig Kieswetter (63) and Kevin Pietersen (47).

The win gave England another triumph over Australia to put alongside last year’s home Ashes win and set the scene for the return series ‘Down Under’, which gets underway in November.

“I’ve seen them (England) celebrate twice in a short space of time now but they deserved it,” Clarke said.

“We knew England were going to be tough, and losing those three wickets early didn’t help. It put a lot of pressure on our middle order.

“I thought we did well to scrape our way to 140-odd, although we were probably about 30 runs short, or 50 runs short the way England batted. We got beaten by the better team today.”

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