Clarke's best yet to come, says Ponting

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Hamilton, Mar 27(ANI): Australian skipper Ricky Ponting reckons that vice-captain Michael Clarke's best is yet to come, as there is room for him to keep improving.

Ponting's remark came after Clarke leapt four places in the ICC's batting rankings to No.2 spot after scoring his 14th century in Australia's 10-wicket win over New Zealand in Wellington last week.

The 28-year-old is 17 points behind Indian batsman Virender Sehwag (863 points), and another big game would give him the chance to regain the top spot, which he previously attained during the 2009 Ashes series in England.

"We don't know if he's starting to peak because his consistency over the last couple of years has been great. He's probably been our leading run-scorer and he'd probably been our most consistent player. Whether that means he's peaked or not is a different thing," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying.

"There has been a lot of talk over the years about batsmen peaking in their early thirties and he's not 30 yet, so maybe, there is room for him to keep improving," he added.

Talking about Clarke's performance in Wellington, where he put a messy personal life behind to score a career-best 168, Ponting said the innings was terrific.

"Let's hope he continues to improve, as has been a trend in Australian cricket for the last ten years. Michael is heading in the same direction as that," he added.

Clarke's decision to quit the one-day series against the Kiwis and return home with three games remaining had attracted heavy criticism from ex-players.

He later announced that his engagement to fiancie Lara Bingle was off, and returned to Wellington to prepare for the first Test.

Despite massive media interest, the batsman was able to focus on his game and play a brilliant knock. (ANI)

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