Australian skipper Michael Clarke bids adieu to one day cricket to focus on longer version of the game.
Australia went on to lift their fifth world cup title by beating New Zealand by seven wickets. It was a perfect farewell for Captain Michael Clarke who announced his retirement from the one international cricket. Clarke played a memorable knock of 74 in his final innings of limited overs cricket. The Australian captain who was injured during the test series against India had earlier admitted they he might never play again due to chronic back pain and hamstring problems. Subsequently, he regained his fitness and led the team to World Cup win. Clarke had bid adieu to one day cricket to focus on test cricket. He has played 108 matches so far which have yielded 8,432 runs and a highest score of an undefeated 329 in long format of the game.
New Zealand was bowled out for a paltry score of 183 in 45 overs. Clarke scored 74 and shared a 112-run partnership with Steve Smith (56 not out) as the skipper and the likely future captain spearheaded Australia to the winning target of 184 in the 34th over at the Melbourne Cricket ground. The entire MCG gave Clarke a standing ovation after Clarke was dismissed after getting his team closer to world cup victory. It was a touching sight to find all his teammates standing at the boundary line to greet him.
The drives flowed from his bat, the footwork was as immaculate as ever and so was the manner in which he charged out to the spinners. Each and every shot was greeted with thunderous applause by the capacity crowd.
There were 10 fours and two sixes in his final ODI innings. Clarke had the Herculean job of checking his emotions and carrying on with the business of guiding his team to victory after losing openers Aaron Finch (0) and David Warner (45). And the skipper was up for it with.
Clarke wants his successor to build the team for the 2019 world cup. Ricky Ponting too had announced his retirement from the limited edition of cricket few months after the 2011 world cup.
“I think it’s the right time for me and the Australian cricket team. I was very fortunate four years ago to get the opportunity to captain this great team and that was really good preparation for me leading up to this World Cup. I think the next Australian captain deserves this opportunity. I don’t think it’s realistic that I’ll be fit and healthy and available to play the next World Cup. I believe it’s the right time.”
“The standards in the Australian team when Ricky Ponting was captain were as high as I can ever imagine. Michael, he’s been able to raise the standards again. Raise the fitness, the skinfolds, the standards of play,” said former Australian batsman Micheal Hussey.
“It’s a really well judged decision but primarily for him to be able to get the best out of himself for first-class cricket and Test cricket,” former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist.
“Everyone knows the complications that he’s got and this now allows him to extend that career I would have thought. His numbers stack up as some of the formidable number in one-day cricket.”