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Chappell supports out-of-form Clarke

Cricketnext.com
Jan 25, 2011 at 12:05pm IST

Sydney: Australia's national selector Greg Chappell has come out in support of out-of-form Michael Clarke and said the ODI skipper will be given every possible chance to lift his batting.

The former Aussie great also praised Clarke's leadership skills that has helped the hosts to take 3-0 lead in the ongoing ODI series against England.

''The selection panel, I can speak for. We've been delighted with his leadership. His captaincy in the first three games has been excellent,'' Chappell was quoted as saying to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Chappell lends support to out-of-form Clarke

The Aussie national selector said Clarke will be given every possible chance to lift his game.

''His strategies, bowling changes, everything that he's done - not least winning matches - has been good and I'm sure that will only be good for him,'' Chappell added.

The 29-year-old has been in horrific form this summer, scoring just 193 runs at 21.44 during the Ashes, is without a half-century in the ongoing series against England.

Chappell's comments could be a big boost for Clarke, who relinquished the Australian Twenty20 captaincy to focus on his Test career.

The former Aussie great expressed complete faith on Clarke's ability and said the seasoned batsman will perform on the big stage - the World Cup.

Chappell also gave an example of Michael Hussey, who was on knives edge to lose his place for the Ashes series, answered his critics by scoring plethora of runs in five matches.

''It was only a few months ago everybody wanted Mike Hussey out of the team and we knew that Mike was a seasoned performer and had performed in big games before and we felt confident that given the opportunity he could do it again,'' Chappell said.

''We feel similarly about Michael that given the team's going well as it is, his leadership's going well as it is, we have a lot of reasons to support him at this time.

''I think his last one-day game in India he made a hundred, he's performed well in India, he's a big-match performer and when you've got those proven performers you don't discard them lightly.''

Chappell, who himself faced a horror patch in his international career as a batsman in the early 1980s, said Clarke could be just one ball away from ''being back in form and being full of confidence''.

''I know in my own case once I realised it was a mental problem and not a physical problem I recovered from it very quickly,'' he said. ''From Michael's point of view he's got to believe in himself and recreate the mental space that he's been in previously when he's playing well.

''It's a state of mind as much as anything else. You can turn it around very quickly and for that reason I'm confident Michael only needs to get a few runs at some stage in the next few games and he'll go to India in a very different space than he's in now.

''When you're not playing well you start to think about anything and everything and stop watching the ball. It's nearly as simple as that. Get back to watching the ball and believing in your ability. Let it take care of itself.

''That being the case we're keen to give him as many opportunities as possible to get back to that place.''

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