Melbourne, Sep 28 (UNI) Almost a month after the beleaguered Andrew Symonds was axed from the team, Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke clears the air between the two batsmen and said it was not his call alone to send the all-rounder home from Darwin.
Clarke further insisted that even after the whole incident he still shares a strong relationship with the Symonds and claims that he and the exiled all-rounder are still ''great friends''.
''The one thing that has probably been misinterpreted is that I didn't make the decision to send Andrew Symonds home on my own, it was the leadership group,'' Clarke pointed out.
The Australian vice-captain said he was all upbeat to take on the Indians which will commence from next month in Bangalore, the same venue where he had his unforgettable Test debut four years ago.
The boyish looks have been replaced by a buzz cut, and he has been dropped and returned to the team as a more controlled, accomplished batsman.
Clarke, on his debut, scored a magnificent 151 against India and the 27-year-old Australian said he would not settle for anything less than reliving his maiden Test.
''I want it to feel the same,'' Clarke said adding, ''Four years ago it was tough cricket, but my mindset was just about soaking up every chance of playing Test cricket for my country.
I don't think that has changed.'' In Darwin, Clarke's fledgling leadership was tested when he gained firsthand experience of the extra responsibilities that come with his senior standing in a transitional team, and his title as Ricky Ponting's deputy.
However, his handling of a difficult situation drew praise from Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.
''When I was given the vice-captaincy, I knew part of that role was making sure you put the team first,'' Clarke said.
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