Michael Clarke not missing Twenty20 action

JUSTIN CHADWICK
Last updated 17:24 21/09/2012

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Test skipper Michael Clarke insists he's more than happy to be facing the red ball in Sheffield Shield ranks rather than strutting his stuff on the world stage at the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka.

In front of just 358 fans at the WACA Ground yesterday, Clarke guided NSW to a crushing eight-wicket Shield victory over Western Australia, making it a double delight for the Blues after their one-day win on Sunday.

Clarke, who retired from international T20 cricket in January last year, is keeping a close eye on how Australia fares in Sri Lanka.

But the 31-year-old declared there wasn't even a slight itch for him to return to the helter-skelter format of T20 cricket at an international level.

"I'm happily retired in that form of the game for Australia," Clarke said.

"They've got my full support and I'll be following them closely. I'm on the phone to a lot of them just about every day, and the coach Mickey Arthur.

"But I had my time in Twenty20 cricket for Australia and I'm enjoying playing for NSW and facing a red ball at the moment."

The Blues were dominant in their Shield encounter against WA, with man-of-the-match Trent Copeland snaring six wickets for the match to inspire NSW to the win inside three days.

Clarke, who scored 78 in NSW's first innings, predicted a bright future ahead for the revamped Blues despite losing the likes of Simon Katich, Usman Khawaja, Phillip Hughes, Nathan Hauritz, Brett Lee and Phil Jaques at the end of last season.

"There's no doubt we've got lots of talent. It's just about turning that talent into performance," Clarke said.

"I think a few guys certainly did that over the last week, and hopefully will continue to over the summer."

Clarke said he had been pleased by the performances of left-arm pacemen Mitchell Johnson and Doug Bollinger, who are both trying to crack back into Australia's Test set-up.

Johnson returned figures of 2-88 and 0-16, while Bollinger snared 3-55 and 1-73.

The Blues will be aiming to make it two Shield wins on the trot when they take on Tasmania at Bankstown Oval, starting next Wednesday.

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