Australia batting coach Michael di Venuto backs captain Michael Clarke to bounce back

Australia captain Michael Clarke
Australia captain Michael Clarke

Australia batting coach Michael di Venuto has backed under-fire captain Michael Clarke to rediscover his batting touch in the remaining two Ashes Tests.

The tourists trail 2-1 in the Investec series after being hammered by eight wickets inside three days at Edgbaston, where Clarke himself admitted: “It is time for the captain to get off the plane and turn up.”

The 34-year-old has contributed just 94 runs in six innings so far and the likes of Jason Gillespie and Michael Vaughan have suggested Clarke’s international career could be in jeopardy if his output does not improve.

Yet Di Venuto has pointed to the upturn in fortunes of England batsman Ian Bell, who ended his own recent nadir with two half-centuries at his home ground of Birmingham, as proof that quality players can never be written off.

“The skipper is a hard trainer and he’s doing all the right things,” Di Venuto said on Cricket Australia’s official website.

“I guess we saw it in this (third) Test match with Ian Bell - class is permanent.

“You don’t lose your class. He (Clarke) is not scoring the runs that he would like at the moment but you don’t play the amount of cricket that he has played not for something just to be around the corner.

“And we’re quite confident that he’ll come good in this series.”