Sydney, Mar 30: Michael Clarke has taken over the Australian Test and one-day cricket captaincy from Ricky Ponting, who stepped down following his World Cup campaign debacle, with Shane Watson being named as his deputy.
Clarke has dismissed talks that he will struggle to take on the leadership role on with Ponting still in the side.
"I''m not going to be the new Ricky Ponting because I''m not Ricky," Fox Sports quoted the new skipper, as saying.
"I certainly don''t think Ricky''s an elephant in any room," he joked.
Clarke pointed out that he wants to put his unique stamp on the Australian cricket team as the new captain. "I''m me and I want to do things my way," he said.
However, he did admit to being unsure about how the new arrangement will work.
"I think Bangladesh will be a great test for that to see how it all unfolds. I''m confident that if he can continue to play for as long as he has done I''m sure it will work," he said.
Clarke, who has been an unpopular choice as captain, with less than 20 per cent of foxsports. com. au users backing his leadership qualities, said that he was unsure why public opinion was against him, but added that the "honour" of being named as captain was a perfect chance to prove himself.
"I don''t know why its (negative opinion) there, but it''s something I''ve had to deal with for my whole career. I can''t get the whole of this country to like me. It''s about learning and hopefully I can earn the respect of these doubters," he said.
"I need to continue to be true to myself. People are entitled to their opinion. I will do what is in the best interest of the team and be the best captain I can be of Australia," he maintained.
Clarke also expressed surprise at Ponting''s sudden decision to relinquish the captaincy of both Test and ODI teams.
"It was a huge surprise to see Ricky stand down. I was very much unaware of where he was at and had no idea he was going to step down. He has been an amazing player for such a long time and hopefully that will continue. I would like to thank him for his help, support and guidance," he said.
"I am grateful to Ricky Ponting for what I have learned from him, to the selectors and Cricket Australia for this opportunity, and am looking forward to the challenges ahead," said Clarke," he added.
Meanwhile, new vice-captain Watson said that he was stunned and thrilled to be Clarke''s deputy.
"I''m looking forward to working close with Michael to build something bigger the future. It''s an exciting time and a new time for all of us in the Australian team. We''ve got a fair bit of work in front of us," said Watson.
- It does not get any bigger than India-Pak World Cup semi-final: Roebuck
- Australian PM congratulates Ponting
- Ponting quits as captain, wants Clarke to succeed him
- Ponting resigns as Australian Test, ODI captain but will continue playing as batsman
- Ponting’s captaincy has exceeded its due date: Charlesworth