Clarke faces demotion for finals - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clarke faces demotion for finals

By Sam Lienert 27/01/2005 05:09:06 PM Comments (0)

Despite a barrage of runs as opener, Michael Clarke is set to be demoted back to the middle order and in-form batsman Simon Katich ousted from Australia's one-day side for the tri-series finals.

Coach John Buchanan backed struggling opener Matthew Hayden to hold his position alongside Adam Gilchrist when selectors settle on their strongest XI for the finals, after rotating 15 players through the side during the series.

Hayden has been unconvincing in scoring six, 27 and three so far this series.

Clarke, by contrast, has sparkled at the top of the order when Hayden, Gilchrist or both were rested.

Clarke notched 66, 97, 103 not out and 21, in four innings at an average of 95.67, scoring at near a run-a-ball.

But Buchanan expected Hayden and Gilchrist to be in place for the finals.

"Obviously (Clarke's) got some performances on the board, but right at this stage I think the selectors have shown great faith and confidence in the players that have formed our one-day unit for a long period of time and I'd expect that to continue," Buchanan said.

He said Hayden was currently "not quite in sync" mentally and was making poor shot choices, but had the ability and character to rediscover his best form soon.

"I feel very confident not only in the person, but history shows his performances and experience will find a way to start getting those results, or what people call form, earlier rather than later," Buchanan said.

Katich was another batsman who teased selectors with the two opportunities provided to him by Australia's rotation policy, following up his 38 against Pakistan in Hobart last week with a stylish 76 against the West Indies in Adelaide on Wednesday.

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