Sydney: Mickey Arthur, coach of the Australian team, has heaped praise on Michael Clarke, the current captain of the Australian team.
"He can certainly be the best batsman in the world," said Arthur. "I think he can leave a real legacy of good Australian captaincy."
Arthur was previously the coach of the South African team, and said that he admired Clarke even then. But after working closely with Clarke, his admiration went up further. "Since I've got to know him, see how he works and his drive to improve and succeed - that puts him on a whole new level in my mind," said Arthur.
His ascent to captaincy has coincided with an upswing in Clarke's fortunes both as captain and batsman. And Australia has shown signs of climbing back up the Test rankings after slipping post the retirements of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer.
"If you think of Australian cricket, you always think of positive play, you always think of batters hitting the ball, bowlers bowling with pace and fielders diving around and throwing hard," said Arthur. "And he (Clarke) symbolises that brand of Australian cricket so much."
Arthur was also full of praise for Clarke's captaincy – both on and off the field. "He's outstanding. I think the way he's captained has been superb in my observation since I've come in. I can't speak highly enough of what he's brought to the team,” said Arthur.