Melbourne, Mar 2: Legendary former cricketer Greg Chappell has heaped praise on Michael Clarke, saying the responsibility of leading Australia has only got the best out of him and tipped the current skipper to emulate his predecessor Ricky Ponting by scoring 13,000 Test runs.
"I have no doubt there are a lot more runs for Michael (Clarke). He's just in fantastic form and he's in a fantastic period of his career ... it's great to see," Chappell was quoted as saying by 'Daily Telegraph'.
Clarke surpassed Don Bradman (6996) and Chappell (7110) en route to his record 23rd Test ton during the opening Test against India in Chennai to become Australia's ninth-highest run scorer in Test history.
Asked if Clarke could join the elite 13,000-run club alongside Ponting (13,378), Chappell said: "There's no reason at all why he can't do that. Provided his body holds up, that's probably where he is going to finish up," said the former Test skipper, who averaged 53.86 runs from 87 Tests between 1970-84. Michael Clarke's career has followed a graph which is similar to Greg Chappell in the sense that both have prospered well after becoming captain of the Australian team.
While, Clarke (52.96) has scored 2453 runs from 22 games since assuming the captaincy, during his eight-year reign Chappell had amassed 4209 runs with 13 centuries at 55.38 from 48 Tests in charge.
"He takes to the captaincy very well, he's very good at it," Chappell said of Clarke.
"The big thing is captaincy comes naturally to him. If you don't handle it, it can work the other way, but from Michael's point of view it has energised him.
"He looks very comfortable in all facets: his batting, his captaincy and his life," Chappel said.
"He is in a great place and it's showing in everything that he does. It's been a remarkable period for him and he is taking the team with him, which is even more impressive and more important," he added.
Now 10th on Australia's Test runscorers list, Chappell is pragmatic about being overtaken by Clarke.
"It's a fact of life. Guys will go past you, it happens," he said.
"I don't think about it too much these days but when someone does go past you it becomes a talking point and you are aware of it.
"I don't spend a lot of time thinking about my record but when someone does what Michael has done and shines the spotlight on it, it's very nice," he said.