Sydney: Injured Australia skipper Michael Clarke said India will find it difficult to get a player like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket Tuesday.
“I can’t imagine there would be many jobs in international sport tougher than being the captain of India’s cricket team. I doubt many have dealt with the expectation, scrutiny, pressure and extreme adoration better than MS Dhoni,” Clarke, who is nursing a hamstring injury, wrote in a column Saturday in the Herald Sun.
“How Dhoni has managed to hold down the captaincy while playing all three forms of the game and wicketkeeping is beyond me. He’s done a wonderful job and the hole he has left in the Test team will be hard to fill.” The 33-year-old gave an insight into his and Dhoni’s similar love for motorbikes.
“I’ve had quite a few chats with MS over the years and nearly all of them have been about motorbikes. I love them but not quite with the same devotion he does. I’m catching up with him at a Spartan BBQ Sunday and I’ll be riding my Harley there so he can take it for a spin. I wish him all the best for all that lies ahead,” Clarke said.
Commenting on the ongoing four-match Test series where Australia have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead, Clarke said India have wasted crucial chances. “It was great to see the boys win another Test series. India are always a tough opponent and they’ve been in with a chance in all three Test matches,” the right-handed batsman said.
“But our guys have stood up in the key moments to ensure the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is coming back to Australia. Our next challenge is to take our form at home and show more consistency on the road.” Clarke only played the first Test at Adelaide when he suffered a hamstring injury.
Regarding his rehabilitation, the middle-order batsman said: “I’m a week ahead of schedule in my rehab from hamstring surgery. I’ve already completed three running sessions and I am back riding the bike. I’m still looking at being fit by the early stages of the World Cup but I’ll ultimately be guided by our medical team.”
The fourth and the final Test starts Jan 6 at the Sydney Cricket Ground.