Warne backs Clarke to regain form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warne backs Clarke to regain form

By Pat Symes 08/06/2004 05:16:35 AM Comments (0)

Shane Warne has backed Michael Clarke to emerge from a disappointing start to his county cricket career with Hampshire to prove he can become Australia's next Ricky Ponting.

Clarke has struggled on early-season English wickets to live up to his glowing reputation as one of the brightest stars of the next Australian generation of batsmen.

Clarke is averaging only 21.44 from nine innings with a top score of 75 in the county championship and in the limited overs National League is faring not much better with 178 runs from five matches.

Warne reckons the poor run of form is a minor setback and the 23-year-old New South Wales batsman will soon find his touch once wickets harden and start to resemble those at home.

Yet two weeks ago Clarke was scoring his first international century for Australia against Zimbabwe.

"Michael's a very good player. Just give him a bit of time and weigh it up at the end of the season and see if I'm not right," said Warne, who is captain of Hampshire.

"At the moment he might not be doing that well but people should make their judgement at the end of the campaign in September.

"He's fine, his confidence is no problem at all and I expect him to come good soon."

Clarke admitted he was baffled by his lack of success in England although there have been hints of his quality in the occasional cameo innings.

"I have definitely been disappointed in the way I have been going and simply have not scored runs in the four-day cricket.

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