Merv Hughes backs Clarke’s appointment as stand-in captain for Sydney Test

Merv Hughes backs Clarke’s appointment as stand-in captain for Sydney TestMelbourne, Dec 31: Former Australian selector Merv Hughes has defended the appointment of Michael Clarke as stand-in captain due to Ricky Ponting's injury.

Ponting will miss the final Test in Sydney after X-rays showed his broken finger was worse than thought.

"I think it's tremendous. His performance has been down in this series, but I think he's been our leading player for the last two years. I think he deserves his chance," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hughes, as saying.

"Having been on the panel for five years and knowing what he's like, he's led us really well in T20 cricket and the one-dayers when Ricky [Ponting] hasn't been there."

"He's been vice-captain for a while now, and I think he'll be a very good captain down the track," he added.

Clarke has scored just 148 runs in the ongoing series at an average of 21.14 - a far cry from last year's Ashes where he was Australia's leading scorer with 448 at an average of 64.

Australia currently trails the five-match series 2-1, with the final Test to be played in Sydney from January 2. (ANI)

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