Sydney, Mar 30: As was expected Michael Clarke has been appointed as the new skipper of the Australian cricket team for the tour of Bangladesh, while all-rounder Shane Watson has been appointed his deputy.
Ricky Ponting, who quit from the captaincy on Mar 29, has been included in the squad for the tour to Bangladesh which starts from April 6.
Clarke, who waited in the wings for a long time said, "It is a great honour to be appointed captain of Australia but at the same time a great surprise as I wasn't expecting Ricky Ponting to stand down...I have always respected those who have come before me in this role and humbled to think of my name being mentioned alongside theirs."
Clarke when asked about the possible uneasiness of having Ponting, in the squad said, "I certainly don't think Ricky's any elephant in any room...He's been an amazing player for a long time and I think Bangladesh is going to be a great test for that, to see how it all unfolds. I know he will allow me to do my job to the best of my ability. I have a very good working relationship with Punter and I'm confident that if he can continue to play as well as he has done for such a long time, I'm certain it can work."
About the appointment of Shane Watson as the vice-captain, Andrew Hilditch, Chairman of the selectors said, "Shane Watson is a critical player for Australia's future and has been identified over the last 12-18 months as someone with leadership potential and we are sure Shane will relish the challenge of being a part of the leadership group needed to guide Australia through this exciting but challenging time."