Melbourne: Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke believes the coach and the team management have too much say and authority in Australian cricket.
In his new book ‘My Story’, Clarke has in detail pointed out why he feels the balance of power has shifted too far away from the modern day captains in the recent years.
He is, however, adamant that incumbent captain Steve Smith would prove a success as Australian skipper.
The former Australian skipper also makes it clear that he has no personal issue with current national coach Darren Lehmann, but he has disagreement with the current structure of team hierarchy.
Lehmann took over from Mickey Arthur as the Australian coach for the 2013 Ashes and as far as Clarke is concerned, the responsibilities he previously understood were part of captaincy were scaled back – although it was at his own request that he be relieved of the demands of being a selector, news.com.au reported.
The 35-year-old says that Smith has known nothing different as Test Captain and, therefore, feels the same stresses may not apply on the latter.
In his book, Clarke writes in detail how he struggled to cope with the rules being re-written halfway through his own tenure in charge.
Pointing to an example on the 2014 ODI tour of Zimbabwe wherein his opinion as captain that Smith should be in the team was ignored by the coach and selectors, Clarke writes, “It is late in my life to accept such a sweeping change to the system … Pat Howard (head of team performance) comes from rugby where the coach runs everything, so he doesn’t see a problem.”
“In rugby, the captain is the boss on the field and the coach is the boss off the field. Simple. But that’s not the way I see the game…Cricket is not football and a coach can’t pull the strings in our game,” he added.
He stresses, “I want to be accountable and so I want input.”
However, Australian great Steve Waugh disagrees with Clarke’s opinions about the modern day captain losing power.
Waugh has backed Smith to have a huge summer in charge.
“I think right now he’s the best option, he’s proving himself to be successful and now he’s got to prove himself how he can come back from a couple of defeats and show his true colours,” he said.
The 51-year-old believes that the success of the Australia is that they don’t chop and change their captains.
“You’ve got to stick with it through good and bad times and only change it when you think there’s a better option…The captain has always been seen as the boss … and I think the captain is always going to be the boss of a cricket side,” he added. (ANI)