Questions about Clarke captaincy, bring on Warne, says Dean Jones

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Melbourne, Apr.29 (ANI): Former Australian batsman Dean Jones believes that there are still questions in the minds of many about whether Michael Clarke is ready to be a full time captain of the national squad.

"Clearly he showed us that he has some of the qualities needed to be a great captain. Clarke has won seven of the 10 matches he has captained when stepping in for Ricky Ponting. But his batting average in those matches is down to 36 in ODIs from 43, which is worrying. The other worrying feature is that I believe not too many of his teammates would walk over broken glass for him. Sure, he's well liked, but he can't be rated that highly because NSW won't even make him its captain," Jones writes in an article for The Age.

Jones believes that current captain Ricky Ponting is not in form, a averaging only 25 in ODIs and 43 in Tests since January 2008.

"He seems to have not been thinking too much about his game and has lacked the Ponting touch. His efforts in the ODIs, in particular, are worrying. He looks more of a slogger now and he is selling himself short - or his wicket, at least," feels Jones.

"The Australians have problems in all departments. They haven't played enough Twenty20 cricket and they will be under-prepared for the Twenty20 World Cup in five weeks. In the 1992 World Cup we did not play one limited-overs match before we met the Kiwis and we lost our first two games through our poor preparation. The other problem for Australia is its batting. The Australian batsmen seem to have no idea of how to work the spinners around and seem bent on worrying about the doosra instead of watching length more," he said.

He suggests that it would not be a bad idea to ask former leg spinner Shane Warne to captain Australia until after the ODI World Cup in mid-2011.

"Warne would jump at it without doubt. His Ferrari wouldn't get him to the MCG as quickly. It would be the only way Australia could get him back and it would at least solve our spin problem. I know Warne turns 40 in September, but we have had four past Australian captains who were 42 or older in Warren Bardsley, Syd Gregory, Bob Simpson and Warwick Armstrong. You can see how infectious his captaincy has been with the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League and we know he can still bowl," says Jones.

"He has Australia's best cricket brain among those still playing and the current Australian players would die for him. Herein lies the big issue," he adds. (ANI)

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