Australian pacers could be tough to face, says Clarke on Champions Trophy
IBNS | 16 May 2017
Australian pacers could be tough to face, says Clarke on Champions Trophy
Kolkata, May 13 (IBNS): Visiting Kolkata, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke said he feels that pacers from his nation will be a threat to other participating nations in the upcoming Champions Trophy due to the conditions of the United Kingdom.

"The conditions of the UK is going to play a big role. I think Australian team have an edge in the pitches of seam and swing. The fast bowlers of Australia, namely, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson will be tough to face" Clarke said.

The former Aussie skipper, however, wished for an India-Australia face-off in the final of the champions trophy which will begin on June 1.

Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke, during his recent visit to the city, said that Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan were the two stand out captains in the ongoing tenth edition of the Indian Premier League, on Saturday.

Speaking about the leaderships in IPL 2017, Clarke said: "The team which will win the IPL might have the best captain but so far in the games I have been a part as a commentator, I found out Gambhir and Zaheer as the two stand outs with their leadership."

While Gautam Gambhir is the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, Zaheer Khan led the side for Delhi Daredevils in IPL.

Clarke announced the collaboration between his cricket academy and the newly opened sports academy by the Aditya Group which will facilitate around 30 to 35 young cricketers of the Aditya group's academy in first phase to visit Australia and get trained by the former Australian World Cup winning captain and they would be touring in the month of July for around 12 days.

Regarding the collaboration, Clarke said: "I am very happy and excited to host young boys and girls from India, Bangladesh and Nepal and contribute to their cricketing career in whatever manner possible. As I always say it is about improving everyday no matter what discipline you are in, and my goal will be to ensure that at the end of the day each individual is better than yesterday and satisfied with his/her work."

"We are trying to teach young boys and girls in all three formats. There is a room for all three formats. I hope these boys and girls will come to my academy with a dream and ambition to play for their country and also the major tournaments like Indian Premier League (IPL)" he added.

Clarke, however, stayed away from making any comment on the recent attempt by the Australian cricket board to keep their key players away from IPL, with multi-years contract.

Backing the cricket Australia, Clarke said that he has got enough support from the Australian board in all decisions he took, during his playing years.

"I was given opportunity to play in the IPL but unfortunately I suffered from several injuries that restricted me from playing the tournament," he added.

The Australian right handed batsman played for Pune Warriors India back in 2012-2013 season.

Lauding the talents exposed by the Indian Premier League year after year, Clarke said that he was impressed by the Pandya brothers (Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya), Nitish Rana and Rishav Pant, in this season. 

"IPL gives a golden opportunity to all players at an young age to expose their talents as it is tough to get a spot in the playing XI of the national cricket team of India, considering the talents of the Indian players" he added.

Clarke, who has successfully led the Australian team to clinch the World Cup in the year 2015, did speak about the challenge of captaincy in the shortest format of the game because of the lack of time.

Trusting the leadership skill of all players, the former skipper said: "I believe everyone has the leadership qualities. Everyone has the quality and its about projecting it in the right way. My cricket academy (in Australia) allows players to be like themselves and the best one can be. There are education sessions also, which teaches leadership tactics, setting fields, reading a batsman or understanding bowlers."

(Reporting by Souvik Ghosh)