Michael Clarke Should Prioritise Between Tests and ODIs, says Brian Lara
Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara feels Michael Clarke is an able captain to lead Australia in the World Cup but has also hinted that he may do well if he chooses between Tests and ODIs thereafter.
Michael Clarke's recent hamstring injury has put him in doubt for the upcoming Test series against India starting December 4. While his immediate cricketing future is uncertain, veteran West Indies batsman Brian Lara feels the Aussie should choose between formats of the game to prolong his professional career. ('Clarke Should Quit ODIs After World Cup')
"He's in a status now where you've got to shape your career and look for longevity," said Lara in an interview to foxsports.com.au. "In terms of his injury, I would like to maybe see him mould his game."(Clarke May Skip India Tests)
Lara, a veteran of 131 Tests and 299 ODIs went to the extent of hinting that it might be a good move for the Australian captain to give up ODIs after the 2015 World Cup. "Test cricket is important. Concentrate and make sure that you play every single Test match as possible," said Lara about what Clarke's ideal career path should be like.South Africa defeat Australia in low-scoring thriller
With the World Cup barely months away though, Lara put his faith in Clarke and said he is an able leader to take Australians to glory next year. "I think he's led the team very well, as captain and as the top batsman. Some people are unable to handle it (the pressure). He seemed to be ... he's quite comfortable with it," said Lara. Incidentally, the 'Prince of Trinidad' had waited till the end of the 2007 World Cup to announce his retirement from the game.Cummins, Starc added to Australia ODI squad
While Lara was 38 when he bid the sport farewell, Clarke - at 33 - has faced recent criticisms and muted calls for his ouster. No stranger to harsh words and strong opinions, Lara too began his career with a strong West Indies side and ended it with the team tottering at the bottom. Therefore, he has a sympathetic approach to Clarke's plight. "Sometimes when you're at the top of the tree a lot of people have a lot of things to say and it's only because you're at the top of the tree," he said.
Every top player though needs the support of his teammates and Lara has urged Australians to step up, especially in tough conditions. "At home or in conditions that favour good batting, you can see everyone contributing," he said, "But the likes of Pakistan in Dubai or India in India, you need everyone to perform and you really see the disparity between the very good players and the ones that are not very good."