Australian vice-captain Michael Clarke has dismissed recent reports of a rift within the team.

According to reports, Clarke’s leadership and attitude were both called into question by his teammates following the 2-1 defeat in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Clarke however said that he felt “a lot of respect” from his teammates.

“For the stuff in the change-room you’d have to ask the other guys, but I certainly feel the guys have shown me a lot of respect when I’ve had the opportunity to captain, and I’ve really enjoyed it,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Clarke, as saying.

“I enjoyed the other night when Ricky wasn’t there, and I’m really enjoying being vice-captain under Ricky Ponting,” he added.

The 29-year-old further said that everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is important for the team to continue with a positive frame of mind.

“People will make their judgement, but I think as a team we need to continue to work together and improve our cricket in all three forms of the game and we feel we’re in a good place,” Clarke said.

“We’re all heading in the one direction and we’re looking forward to the summer,” he added.

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