Melbourne, Jan 25 (PTI) Highly impressed with Australianstand-in-skipper Michael Clarke''s captaincy, the nationalselector Greg Chappell said that the selection panel wasthrilled with his leadership qualities.
"The selection panel I can speak for -- we''ve beendelighted with his leadership," Chappell said.
"His captaincy in the first three games has beenexcellent. His strategies, bowling changes, everything thathe''s done -- not least winning matches -- has been good, andI''m sure that will only be good for him," the former Indiancricket team coach told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Under the able leadership of 29-year-old Clarke, theAussies have managed to draw a favourable result with a 3-0lead in the ongoing seven-match ODI series against England.
The Kangaroos are now just a victory away from sealingthe series, which is quite significant keeping in view thedismal show put up by them during the 3-1 Ashes loss.
However, Clarke himself has been going through a roughpatch as he has failed miserably with the bat during therecent Ashes drubbing, scoring just 193 runs at an average of21.44 and there were hardly any signs of revival in his formduring the first three one-dayers of the series.
Comparing Clarke''s bad run of form to that of MrDependable Michael Hussey, Chappell said, "It was only a fewmonths ago everybody wanted Mike Hussey out of the team and weknew that Mike was a seasoned performer and had performed inbig games before, and we felt confident that given theopportunity he could do it again.
"We feel similarly about Michael (Clarke) that given theteam''s going well as it is, his leadership''s going well as itis, we have a lot of reasons to support him at this time.
"I think his last one-day game in India he made ahundred, he''s performed well in India, he''s a big-matchperformer and when you''ve got those proven performers youdon''t discard them lightly," Chappell insisted.
Clarke''s excellence as the leader has won him anopportunity to lift himself out of the slump and deposingfaith in his ability, Chappell, who famously said, "I''m notbatting badly, I''m just getting out" during a bad patch in theearly 1980s, reiterated that the batsman could be just oneball away from "being back in form and full of confidence."
Meanwhile, former Test captain Mark Taylor, who bailedhimself out of an ugly run of form during 1996-97 added thatthe right hander should stop hitting the ball in the air.
"If he looks at the last couple of dismissals, he''s beencaught at cover point and caught at mid-wicket," Taylor said.
"They''re not the shots of a guy who''s feeling for theball, who''s nicking them behind, getting bowled or gettingtrapped in front -- not seeing the ball.
"Unfortunately he''s hitting the ball in the air in frontof the wicket. He''s making opportunities for the fieldingside. That''s an area he can improve. If he''s going to hit themin the air, whack them over the top," Taylor added.