London, July 14: Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has said that his decision to elevate Michael Clarke in the batting order in the Lord"s Test against Pakistan was in recognition of his great Test form over the past two years.
Ponting also said that it was an attempt to strengthen the batting order, especially before the Ashes, which begins in Brisbane in November.
Clarke was shifted from No 5 to No 4, a swap with Micheal Hussey in the first Test against the Pakistan side at Lords.
“I had a good chat to both of those guys leading into the Derby [warm-up] game about the reasons behind it and what I see as being best for the team. That"s the way it will be for not only this series, but right through the Ashes as well," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Ponting, as saying as according to ANI reports.
Hussey has had the No.4 position since Damien Martyn"s retirement in 2006.
In the past two years the left-hander has scored 1587 runs from 44 innings, at an average of 38.71, while in the same period Clarke has scored 2163 runs at an impressive average of 56.92. Only left-handed opener Simon Katich, with 2215 runs, outscored Clarke in the Australian team.
Talking about Clarke"s batting performances, Ponting said that the 29-year-old has developed his game nicely over the last couple of years.
“I think his game"s very well suited higher up the order against the newer ball, probably a bit more than what Hussey"s is right at the moment. He has been our most consistent player and that"s been pretty much in all conditions around the world," Ponting said.
“During the last Ashes series over here I think he showed that at different times and at challenging times when the ball was moving around quite a bit that he can do the job up the order," he added.