Ricky's Ponting International Cricket 2007 Big Six

The under scrutiny Australian Cricket team captain Michael Clarke has once again received support from one of his closest mates Shane Warne. Warne reckons there is no need to get panicky about Australia’s situation as of now. The team has been doing reasonably well in the bowling and fielding departments and it’s just the batting which needs some lift.

According to Warne, not only are the Kangaroos capable of becoming the first ranked team in the world in all three formats of the game, they can lift their 4th World Cup title as well on home soil if the selectors pick the right squad.

Speaking in a cricket programme yesterday, Warne said, “As far as Michael is concerned, his recent failures don’t worry me that much. He seems to be getting into good positions. It’s just that he has not been able to put a big one together. But, I think some big knocks off his bat is just a matter of time.”

“However, if you talk about batting as a whole, then, I would say, yes, there is a little bit of concern there. In the series versus Pakistan, there were some poor batting displays and some lift is obviously needed there. With the bowling that we have, if we start putting on the runs, we will be winning games on more occasions than not.”

Clarke has scored just one hundred in the last 8 test matches that he has played. In the last one year or so, he has just not scored big at all if that hundred in the Cape Town test match is barred. So, the pressure is on him.

With the young Steven Smith being tipped to be ready to take the captaincy, Clarke can’t breathe easy.

Rahul Dravid doesn’t think that the BCCI should have brought new men in the support staff of the Indian team for the one day international matches against England. According to the former Indian captain, the timing was not right for such changes to be made.

The BCCI secretary, Mr. Sanjay Patel, reacted after the team’s loss in the test series asking the bowling and the fielding coach to go on a short leave. On the same day, he announced that a couple of Indian coaches would reach England soon and would take over those two vacant posts.

While, this decision of Patel has been hailed in some quarters, Dravid feels the other way.

Speaking in one of the television programmes, Dravid said, “I am not sure they have got this bang on. If I had to make this call, I would have perhaps liked the tour to end first.”

“There is nothing wrong with changes. Changes would be made in the support staff from time to time especially if the results are not coming, but, the announcements of those changes should not be ill timed. That’s what I think.”

“And, also, you should be absolutely clear about whether the changes that you are making are for the long term or they are just temporary. In this case, we don’t have any clarity, do we?”

There have been reports that the BCCI had approached Dravid as well to go to England and join India’s support staff as a mentor, but, he denied because of family reasons.

Dravid had spent some time with the Indian side at the start of the tour when he was there in UK for his commentary stint with the Star Sports Network.

Dravid is believed to have a lot of knowledge regarding how to bat in tough conditions. He’s been one of India’s best batsmen overseas, if not the best.