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I was not a good vice captain to Ponting : Michael Clarke

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SportsCafe Desk

10/19/2016

Michael Clarke has revealed, in his new autobiography, that he wasn't a good vice captain to legendary Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Clarke also revealed conversations with Andrew Symonds where the all-rounder believed that India got away with Monkeygate because of the BCCI's clout.

Michael Clarke's new autobiography titled 'My Story - Michael Clarke' sees the former Australian skipper spilling the beans on many an incident from his cricketing career. Not surprisingly, Clarke's career was filled with controversial events and they make for some stunning revelations.

Clarke has said that Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin would have done a better job than him as deputies to Ricky Ponting.

"'In his autobiography, Ricky wrote that he was 'disappointed with some of the things I did as vice-captain'. He didn't accuse me of being treacherous or disruptive, but said I was reluctant to get involved in planning meetings or daily debriefs and take on a leadership role. When my private life was turbulent, he said, I would go into my shell. He was right. I was not a good vice-captain to him,'" reads an excerpt from Clarke's book titled My Story - Michael Clarke as reported by Cricinfo.

"Clarke's biggest leadership influences were his dad, Mark Taylor and Shane Warne. All took different views on captaincy to Ponting, and Clarke says he was not a good "actor" when it came to falling into line behind Ponting as deputy. Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin, Clarke believes, were far better deputies."

India always get their way : Symonds

Clarke claimed that when he got into the Australian side Neil D'Costa, Brad Haddin, Shane Warne, and Andrew Symonds were his "big brothers" and he was ready to "quit the tour" had Symonds been sent back from England after the latter showed up drunk for an ODI against Bangladesh.

"Clarke's early cricket life is populated by a series of "big brother" figures, from Neil D'Costa to Brad Haddin to Shane Warne to Symonds. They are opposites in most every way, but grow close in the Australian team. When Symonds is threatened with being sent home from England in 2005 after infamously showing up drunk to an ODI against Bangladesh, Clarke says he'll also quit the tour if Symonds is banished," says the Cricinfo report.

Clarke had come out in support of Symonds after Monkeygate, where Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh called him a monkey. He revealed that after the incident Symonds had claimed that India always get away with "everything" while the Aussies were scrutinized for every move they made.

"According to Clarke, Symonds says his motivation is this: "I'm sick and tired of them [India] getting away with it. We never get away with anything, but they do." The incident and its politically expedient aftermath does affect Symonds, about the same time Clarke is appointed Australian vice-captain."

Clarke wanted Ponting to stay in the team

Clarke also said that when the Argus review panel had asked him if he wanted Ponting to retain his place should Clarke be handed the captaincy, he had supported Ponting's position in the team.

"'If you become captain of Australia, would you want Ricky Ponting in the team?' That question, Clarke says, was put to him by Don Argus, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, James Sutherland and Malcolm Speed in an interview at the SCG in 2011. The nature of the question means the interview takes place before Ponting has actually quit as captain, which he does on his return from a failed World Cup campaign in India in March. Clarke recalls making a strong affirmation of Ponting's importance."

The Liverpool-born Aussie also confirmed that the selectors had made up their minds about Ponting's career even before the legend had played his last game in Perth in 2012. Ponting scored just 4, 8 in the two innings but Clarke claims that even a hundred wouldn’t have changed the selectors' mind.

"But most telling of Clarke's recollections is that later that same year, when Ponting is struggling after low scores in the first two home Tests against South Africa, the selectors decide to drop him after Perth. "John confides that the other selectors have made their minds up that Perth will be Ricky's last Test match, whether he scores nought or a hundred." Ponting, of course, had come to a similar conclusion. But things would have played out in far more ugly fashion had he not."

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