That isn’t my statement, although I also thought it was true before today.
That was a headline from 31st of December.
The question someone asked Michael Clarke was if he would captain Australia with Ponting in it.
“No. I’ve always said from day one Ricky Ponting is my leader, my captain, and I’m certain he’ll be back captaining ASAP.”
What has changed in that time.
Well, Ricky Ponting is now not his leader, because he has stepped down.
Is it that simple.
Did Michael Clarke really mean,
“No. Ricky is my captain now, and while he is captain I can’t be, because we both can’t be captains at the same time. We both can’t be sitting in the same chair.”
Or did he mean,
“I’ll never captain Ricky, he scares me to death.”
“I won’t captain him until he makes a public statement retiring from the job but wants to stay on batting.”
Now, because of Ricky’s semi retirement, Clarke is going to take over a team with Ponting in it. Probably.
The person who told him off in Perth, all of three tests ago, the man who was default coach, default selector, and iron fisted captaining grouch and one of the greatest players the country as produced.
You could understand why someone like Clarke wouldn’t want to captain Ponting.
Yet now Ponting has stepped down from the top job and thrown the ball back into Clarke’s court.
What will Clarke do?
Can he walk into the job, swing his power around and say, sorry old man, this is the future, you are the past, thanks, but no thanks.
Or should he try and look like he doesn’t give a shit about Ricky, that he has hardly noticed Ricky even exists, and that Ricky is just another face in the crowd that Michael Clarke needs to mould in order to bring Australia back to glory.
The third option is for Clarke to get hypnotised and so that instead of seeing Ponting he sees Walter Matthau grumbling in the corner of the changeroom.
I think it’s great that Ponting thinks so much of Clarke that he is willing to really test him at the start of his reign as captain.