Brad Haddin backs Michael Clarke as Australia captain

Michael Clarke may be unpopular with the public but he is the best man to lead Australia in Ricky Ponting's absence, according to his new deputy.

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been installed as Australia vice-captain for the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney and will act as Clarke's right-hand man after Ponting was ruled out with a finger injury.



The two good friends, who have spent plenty of time together at state and national level, hope to oversee a series-levelling win after the disappointment of a rampant England retaining the Ashes in Melbourne.



Clarke's appointment as skipper was confirmed the day before a fans' poll placed his captain's approval rating at just 15%.



"The reaction with the public with all our players changes from week to week," Haddin pointed out.



"You're one good innings away - or sometimes one good cover drive away - from the support being with you.



"Michael's a very strong character so things will be okay.



"He's got a very good cricket brain. He'll do Australia proud."



While Clarke's lack of popularity mystifies those within the Australia camp, there is no doubting their loyalty.



Haddin said he spoke for all the players when he declared Clarke the perfect candidate to step in for Ponting.



"I've played most of my first-class career with Michael and he deserves to be Australian captain," Haddin declared.



"He is a very good captain. We've seen that in the Twenty20 form of the game and the handful of one-dayers he's led.



"We're 100% behind him. He's the best man for the job now Ricky's out.



"He's ready to do this job and he'll do a very, very good job."



The Australia team for the fifth Test has a completely different look to it, with changes in the leadership matched by changes to the XI.



Two players look set to debut - top-order batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Michael Beer - in a real nod to the future.



But Haddin insisted the focus would be on the present in Sydney, with Australia desperate for Ashes redemption.



Asked what the team's approach would be now the urn had gone, Haddin replied bluntly: "To win - plain and simple.



"We're bitterly disappointed with losing the Ashes and we can't hide behind that.



"It still hurts but with sport these days you've got to get over it pretty quick and move on.



"We have lost the Ashes but we can still draw the series.



"The bottom line is we've got to win this Test match to get the series back to 2-2."



News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
News
David Ryall in Harry Potter
people
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
football
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015