Sydney:Michael Clarke, leading Australia for the first time in a major international tournament, says he doesn't feel the need to change his batting style to fit in with the blistering demands of Twenty20.
Clarke, 29, has stepped up to the national captaincy for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean following Ricky Ponting's decision to concentrate on Test and One-Day Internationals.
Clarke (R) is confident he can make further strides in the World T20. AFP PHOTO
Clarke's struggle to come to terms with the frenetic nature of T20 cricket mirrors Australia's unconvincing efforts to master the shortened format, but he is confident he can make further strides in the third edition of the World T20 which starts on Friday.
The New South Wales right-hander prides himself on his elegant batting technique, honed as a youngster by facing the bowling machine at his father's indoor centre.
"I think I can definitely still take it up a notch," he said. "But I can't walk out there and smack the ball out of the park from the very first ball.
"I know I won't be successful like that. For me it's important to play my shots, to use my strengths, my speed, my running between wickets and my energy in the field.
"With the squad we have if we need blokes to walk in there and hit it out of the park, we've got a lot of those players. I don't think I have to do that."
While Clarke averages just over 50 in Test cricket and 42.31 in One-Day Internationals, in Twenty20s for Australia he is averaging just 24.64 with a top score in 19 innings of 67.
He has not fully thrown himself into T20 cricket, having never sought to play in the Indian Premier League while international duties have curtailed him turning out for New South Wales in Australia's domestic competition.
"I've had a lot of conversations with guys who have been playing in the IPL and I've got a lot of advice from them," he said.
Australia have won 15 of 29 Twenty20 internationals, but since Clarke became captain last season he has achieved four victories and a tie.
"I think we've got our act together over the last 12 months. I think our form has been very good, very exciting," he said.
"We have a specialist Twenty20 squad now. There are no guarantees in this game, but with the talent we have I don't see any reason why we can't be as successful as we have in one-day and Test cricket."
Clarke, known as 'Pup', has had a tumultuous year away from cricket, having to deal with a stormy break-up with model girlfriend Lara Bingle.
He raised eyebrows when he suddenly broke off playing in Australia's New Zealand tour in February, caught a flight to Sydney and terminated his engagement with Bingle.
Clarke decided that he had had enough of his glamour relationship after the commotion following Bingle's interview with a women's magazine into a nude picture scandal involving her and taken some years before in a prior relationship.
With his elevation to the national captaincy for the World Twenty20 and the designated captain-in-waiting in Ponting's shadow at Test and ODI level, the level of scrutiny will continue on Clarke.