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Rixon impressed by captain Clarke on Lanka tour

August 20, 2011 - Colombo

Former Australian wicketkeeper and now the national squad's fielding coach Steve Rixon has been impressed by Michael Clarke's leadership in Sri Lanka.

Rixon was responsible for the appointment of Stephen Fleming as New Zealand's captain during the 1990s while he was the Black Caps head coach. Fleming went on to become one of the most widely respected Test skippers in the game and Rixon believes Clarke will also turn out to be champion leader.

"I've seen Pup (Clarke) from a young cricketer when he was first with NSW so I know Pup and I know his personality and he's in a position now where he's carving his own way," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Rixon, as saying.

"I think he'll do a terrific job. I like his enthusiasm, I like the way he's relaxed around the players. He knows the line between being captain and being one of the boys and that's come from a lot of years of experience, seeing the likes of Punter (Ricky Ponting) and Steve Waugh before and how they ran the show," he added.

"I reckon he'll do a very good job because he'll come in with fresh ideas and every change introduces fresh ideas and I think that's healthy," Rixon said.

Clarke has won five of his first six matches in charge, suffering defeat for the first time in Tuesday's third one-day international against the Sri Lankans.

But with his first Test series in charge looming, Rixon believes Clarke's first challenge must be making sure the team is being led how he wants.

"There's a lot of things that don't need fixing but at the same time Pup's got to make his own impression on it, if you like," Rixon said.

He added: "He's got to make a statement: 'This is the way I would like to see things done, I've learnt from very good captains before' is what he would be thinking and 'this is my little slant on it'."


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