Clarke laughs off vice-captaincy issue

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Adelaide, Jan 27 (UNI) After Adam Gilchrist announced his retirement from international cricket, Cricket Australia will look to find captain Ricky Ponting's deputy to assist him in both forms of the game.

Michael Clarke, who led Australia during the Twenty20 international against New Zealand last month, had expressed his desire to captain the side.

But Clarke today laughed off the issue while speaking to Star Cricket.

''One came from Haydos,'' Clarke said. ''I said to him- 'Are you retiring as well?' He said- 'Not now, I'm a chance of getting a stripe.' We had a joke about it but other than that it hasn't been spoken about,'' he said.

Clarke and Michael Hussey are two of the main contenders to takeover the job from Gilchrist but with Australia banking on Clarke in the Twenty20 match against New Zealand, the scene looks set for him.

He was also optimistic about the Adelaide Test in which only one day is left and said India will find it tough to negotiate the Aussie bowlers.

''The easiest time to score was when the ball was new and hard, so it was our intention to come out and be positive with the new ball.

''Once it got softer and started to go reverse - they also bowled a lot of spin - we knew it was going to be hard to bat.

With guys on the boundary it was hard to keep the runs flowing,'' he said.

The right-hander along with other Aussie fielders was found guilty of dropping too many catches that came their way but Clarke said there was no major problem behind the fumbles.

''Over the last 20 Tests Australia hasn't dropped too many catches so I don't think you'll see too much change,'' he said.

''We train just as hard as we do when we take all our catches and nothing has changed in our preparation. I apologised to Brett Lee, and I certainly didn't mean to drop it,'' he added.

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