Ponting keen to promote Clarke to No. 4 in Test batting order

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Sydney, Apr.2 (ANI): Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke is likely to occupy batting slot number four ahead of this year's Ashes to ensure his seniority in the squad.

According to Fox Sports, Test skipper Ricky Ponting is considering the positional swap after vice-captain Michael Clarke's bumper summer, which included his best Test score of 168 during the series against New Zealand.

Hussey, 35 next month, has held the No.4 position in 37 of his 50 Tests, scoring 2531 runs at 46.01, including seven tons.

But Ponting says the form of Clarke, who bats at No. 5, warrants a promotion, especially as he has been Australia's most consistent batsman for the past two years.

While the four-man selection panel picks the Test squad, Ponting has decisive input on Australia's batting order and he likes the idea of Clarke at No.4.

"It's something I've been thinking about this week (moving Clarke up the order)," Ponting said before his return to Sydney yesterday.

"He's handled a lot of situations particularly well the last couple of years, and in most conditions. Michael is doing everything right to get up the order-certainly one more spot," he added.

Clarke's promotion is to be implemented in July, when Australia plays a two-Test series against Pakistan in England.

The NSW dynamo finished the 2009-10 Test campaign second only to Simon Katich with 723 runs at 65.72, while Hussey hit 595 at 49.58. (ANI)

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