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."



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links