Clarke admires Lehmann's batting offer - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clarke admires Lehmann's batting offer

By Will Swanton 24/10/2004 03:57:22 PM Comments (0)

Michael Clarke is stunned by Darren Lehmann's offer to stand down from the Australian team.

Captain Ricky Ponting's imminent return from a broken thumb, either in the fourth Test against India at Bombay next week or the first Test against New Zealand at the Gabba from November 18, means one of the current batsmen is about to be squeezed out.

Damien Martyn is safe.

Simon Katich is probably safe.

The openers, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer, are safe as houses.

Lehmann, at the ripe old age of 34, is the most vulnerable unless selectors make the unlikely move of dumping 23-year-old Clarke despite a barnstorming start to his Test career, highlighted by his classy 151 on debut at Bangalore.

The third Test against India, starting in Nagpur on Tuesday, will be the first of a series of unofficial bat-offs between Lehmann and Clarke.

Lehmann said after the Bangalore Test he may stand down when Ponting returned to keep Clarke in the side but selection chairman Trevor Hohns rejected that selfless suggestion.

"It was an unbelievable comment from such a great guy and someone who has been such a great player for Australian cricket," said Clarke, who read Lehmann's comments on the internet.

He is just that type of person. He is supportive of Australian cricket in general. He just wants all the players to do the best for the team.

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