Michael Clarke says he’s out to improve his run-scoring record in Twenty20 after being unveiled as the Melbourne Stars captain for the next two Big Bash League campaigns.
Clarke was announced as the Stars’ replacement for departed foundation skipper Cameron White on Friday morning.
Australia’s Test captain has missed plenty of cricket in recent seasons with an ongoing back injury but said he’d be able to combine his Test and T20 duties after retiring from one day cricket.
“Throughout my whole career Test cricket and One Day cricket have complimented each other for me … I feel this is the same,” he said.
“A big part of why I retired from international T20 cricket (in 2011) was so I could focus on the two formats.”
Clarke hasn’t played a Twenty20 match in three years, last turning out in the 2012 Indian Premier League with Pune Warriors.
He led the national T20 side from 2007-10, winning 12 of 18 matches and steering Australia to the 2010 World Cup final before retiring internationally.
Clarke’s efforts in the shortest form of the game to date haven’t matched his formidable Test and ODI record.
But the 34-year-old said he would be out to change that this summer.
“I don’t think it’s a point to prove … obviously I would have liked to have scored more runs than I have,” he said.
“My leadership’s had success in the Twenty20 format.
“(Runs are) a goal for me and I look forward to that challenge.”
The move brings together Clarke and mercurial English talent Kevin Pietersen in the Stars batting order.
Clarke said he wouldn’t be surprised to be playing against Pietersen in the upcoming Ashes series.
“He’s certainly showing enough runs (and) he’s made it clear he wants to play … at the moment from the Australian perspective I’m happy he’s not playing because he’s a wonderful player,” he said.
Clarke wear number 23, the same guernsey as his friend Shane Warne during his stint with the BBL side.
The Stars also announced the signings of up and coming leg spinner Adam Zampa and all-rounder Evan Gulbis.