McCullum: Clarke should have the final say

Australia

New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum feels that Australia skipper Michael Clarke, and indeed all captains, should have the final say in who gets picked for the XI, and Clarke should have been allowed to pick Brad Haddin.

There was much outrage from former Australia players when Haddin was left out of the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston, having with drawn from the second Test to be with his sick daughter. It was felt that the selectors devalued the Haddin family.

Clarke was visibly disgruntled by the call, and he no longer has a say in team selections. McCullum says he's baffled by this, and feels the top brass are tying one of Clarke's hands behind his back.

McCullum wrote in the Daily Mail: "I just wonder how much support he's getting from within the dressing room. I know it's the Australian way sometimes to be at loggerheads: it's often the way they get the best out of themselves, pushing each other to spur everyone on.

"But the Brad Haddin situation – when he withdrew from the second Test for family reasons – has been an interesting one.

"It's no secret that Clarke is a big Haddin fan, and it's clear that he doesn't have the same say in selection now as he did before, especially when Mickey Arthur was coach. I wonder if that's getting to him a bit."

McCullum added: "I firmly believe the captain needs to have the final say on the XI who take the field. It's fine for the selectors to pick the squad, but the captain is the guy who has to take them out there and juggle his stock.

"He's the one who visits the players late at night in their hotel rooms to see if they're in the right frame of mind. He should be the one who makes the final call.

"In terms of building the right environment around a team, I'd have wanted Haddin in my team at Edgbaston. It strikes me that there's a difference of philosophy between Clarke and those who run the team."

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