Take the collar off Clarke

Michael Clarke should not be the next captain of Australia.  I’ve said this for longer than it’s been fashionable.

I don’t see him as a natural leader of men and I’ve seen enough tactical decisions from him in the field to not feel comfortable with that side of him either.

It should be mentioned that I don’t factor in his tattoos, boring ass twitter feed, who he dates, what he does with his hair, the magazines he’s in, the trendy café he eats at or even what car he drives when looking at him as a captain.  You can run the team from a beachside café with a shit hair cut just as well as you can from a diner with a cap on.

My problems with his captaincy have almost nothing to do with the reasons he seems to be hated.  If he wore a pirate earring, read Sylvia Path on the balcony and only talked to people who watched modern day French Films I wouldn’t hate him more, or think he would be less of a captain.

All I can go on is his past actions.

He has publicly stated he would never captain Ricky Ponting.  Making it sound like he was scared of leading him.  I want a captain who would at least publicly say he would captain a sabre tooth tiger if he was picked.

He has said at times he doesn’t always feel comfortable going to Ricky Ponting with suggestions.  He’s the Vice Captain of Australia; this isn’t some title you get when you’ve sold 100 whoppers.  It means something, and he should be chipping in, especially when he sees Ricky losing it.

He wouldn’t change his game for T20 cricket.  In real terms I care almost nothing that he played bad T20 cricket, but in the larger worldview, if he can’t change his game for his team when it is needed, that is a problem.

His apology for not walking.  I appreciate a man who apologises.  Too many people never do.  But don’t apologise for not walking.  Apologise for wasting our time, yes, but you don’t for walking. You’re Australian, that is fine, don’t apologise for that.  And if you are going to apologise, do it like a man and do it in front of the press core, not via twitter 12 seconds after play.

His lack of appearances at the press conferences during the Ashes.  Clarke did not appear at a close of play press conference until the 4th test.  Watson, Haddin and Hussey all came out on days when Australia was pummelled and they did little to justify walking out.  He should have come out before Melbourne.

His role in the Andrew Symonds outing.  It never felt right, and he has never spoken about it publicly.  It seems like it was more personality based than fishing based, and he was the captain in charge at the time.

I know nothing about him.  I follow him on twitter.  Read all the cricket press. Watch his interviews. Have been to his press conferences.  And have followed his career since the day he began, and other than he likes fast cars and is a bit metrosexual I know nothing about him at all.

How can this be?

Who is Michael Clarke? What does he believe in?  Who does he vote for?  What pisses him off?  Does anything piss him off?  Is he embarrassed by his public acts of affection for Lara?  Why did he wait until Lara was in a bind before leaving her?  Does he like leg slips?  How does he believe Mitchell Johnson should be handled?  Why so many bowling changes in Sydney?  How will he fix over rates?  Would he be a better captain than Cameron White?  Has he read Mike Brearley’s captaincy book?  Does he believe in human cloning?  Will his back ever be truly healed? Is he nervous or energetic?  Why should he be the next captain of Australia?

I just want to know who he is.  Perhaps he is the right man for Australia; perhaps they need a yuppie (© Crash Craddock) captain right now.  Maybe they need him.  He is a man who has reshaped his game on 3 separate occasions to make it as an international cricketer.  Someone who left a tour to get his life in order, only to return and make his highest test score. And someone who stated desperately that he never wanted to be dropped from the test side.

That is the most I know of Clarke, that he didn’t want to be dropped, and that desperation to stay in the side.  It was the most human I’ve ever seen him.  And although it was a bit depressing at the time, it showed that he has a fire inside him, there is a desperate ugly will to succeed in there, I want more of that and less of his corporate image.

Enough of this ghosted corporate cardboard cut-out, bring out Michael Clarke so we can see if we actually like him or not. Because it seems the image that has been carefully created is not working.

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18 thoughts on “Take the collar off Clarke

  1. brilliant stuff!
    Its weird..after the Ben Dorries article, he is getting a lot of support from the public, actually…

  2. golandaaz says:

    His personality can be defined by what he won’t do…

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by cricket with balls and Extracover, cricket with balls . cricket with balls said: cwb: Take the collar off Clarke http://bit.ly/fLtRWC #cricket […]

  4. Because I’m a prick I’ve watched a lot of french films, but these have obviously given me a highly advanced insight into the human character. I know I’m a prick, for instance, but I too still don’t have any fudging idea who Clarke is. It’s hard to reconcile his spiky spats e.g. at Edgbaston in 2005, and the concrete-willed post-Bingle Kiwi innings with that absurd mea culpa twitter apology and the ass-muching Punter reverence. Ok the Punter love is just about comprehensible, but that tweet was an act of cringe-inspiring shiteness. Just what the fuck was he hoping to achieve. I like Haddin.

  5. nick says:

    i just wanna knw wht was the last time he scored fo aus in test or odi. i dont get why media dont talk about his batting is ashes or anything.

  6. jayman says:

    Too many Julios in the team these days. Back in the glory days it was a 50-50 split nerds to julios…

  7. The Pav says:

    It was fine to be the Pub when he was a pup but now he’s to old to be a pup and just hasn’t grown up.

    That’s why we hate him. He’s still like a kid without the redeeming virtue of being a kid.

    Plus can anyone tell me why he hasn’t been dropped!!! It can’t be just because he’s from NSW there must be another reason. His form just doesn’t warrant a game in the thirds let alone the first X1

  8. Pete says:

    i couldn’t give a feck who he is or what he stands for and don’t see why it should matter.

  9. Masuud Qazi says:

    He needs to tighten up surely. Been all over the place lately, though the ODI wins should help his image and they are. Maybe the transitional phase for him as gone. He may have done good in the ODIs but in no way he fits the bill to lead in tests; various reasons, with his run scoring being the major. Either stick with Ricky until Aus finds someone or hand it to Watto (yes, feel he could be the one, don’t care of he’s lead state side or not) or call in White for once and for all formats.

  10. Sach says:

    I never really liked him cos I always thought he was soft. There are some things I don’t like about Australian cricket team, but one thing I DID like about them was they always were tough bastards. I don’t want to see them led by a softie.

  11. Lolly says:

    ‘Has he read Mike Brearley’s captaincy book?’

    I think you are expecting a lot if you expect many of the Aussie players to be reading books, even ones related to cricket. I suppose MIke Hussey might, just because he is such a cricket nerd.

  12. Ezy says:

    jrod, I don’t even care about most of the stuff you want to know. All I care about is that he makes runs in the Test side and that he makes them at a good rate in the ODI side. Do your job as a batsman first and foremost, the rest we can worry about later.

  13. jamie64 says:

    Australia needs a hard man.

    the katster.

  14. steve says:

    Who cares what/if he thinks. He’s primarily a batsman and is there to make runs (or some useful alternative).

    If he can’t make runs, for matches without count, no matter if he is captain, then he should be dropped til he can.

    • jrod says:

      Steve, “who cares if he thinks”, Australia’s guide to picking a captain.

      Ezy, when he made runs, he was still not popular.

  15. namya says:

    Ummm.. excuse me.. who is Michael Clarke again? that guy who I see on the screen for around half an hour, tries to put bat to ball and finally succeeds when the ball is going to the wicket keeper.. ? Oh that guy!!
    I have heard that he actually finished reading Ulysees.. I went till page 3..

  16. Ezy says:

    jrod, it’s interesting with regards to his popularity. I think you’ll find a large segment of Australian supporters still love him. I’m somewhere in the middle, I love his Test game and hate his limited overs game. His lifestyle isn’t my thing, but that shouldn’t matter. I don’t think current Australian cricketers should have to mimic the 70s Lillee hardman archetype.

    Team selection is brutally simple. Pick the best eleven players in the country and pick the best tactician in the team as captain.

    There are obviously some caveats to that, namely give a preference towards youth if two players are of a similar standard and don’t pick captains who send sleazy text messages.

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