Batting great Greg Chappell has backed in form Australian captain Michael Clarke to join the elite 13,000 Test runs club, adding the extra baggage of captaincy has revitalized Clarke.
Ahead of the second Test against India on Saturday, Chappell lauded Clarke, saying the top job, which is so often a crushing burden for many Test stars, had taken his game to record heights, News.com.au reports.
Amid the wreckage of Australia's first-Test defeat in Chennai, Clarke not only did record his 23rd Test ton, but in the process he surged past Don Bradman (6996) and Chappell (7110) 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), former Test skipper Chappell, who averaged 53.86 runs from 87 Tests between 1970-84, was unequivocal, saying there is no reason at all why he can't do that.
Chappell added provided Clarke's body holds up, that's probably where he is going to finish up, adding he has no doubt there are a lot more runs for the captain.
The former skipper added Clarke is just in fantastic form and he's in a fantastic period of his career, and it's great to see
Like Chappell, Clarke's career mark (52.96) has improved since assuming the captaincy. During his eight-year reign, Chappell amassed 4209 runs with 13 centuries at 55.38 from 48 Tests in charge
Clarke has thumped 2453 from 22 games as skipper at 70.08. Incredibly, he has nine tons, already two more than Mark Taylor (50 Tests) and Chappell's brother, Ian (30 Tests), managed as Test captains.