Records galore for Clarke and Australia
Michael Clarke's double-century and his monumental 288-run partnership with Ricky Ponting dominated a run-filled second day in Sydney, a day in which several milestones were achieved. Here are some of the major ones:
- Clarke's unbeaten 251 is the fourth-highest by an Australian captain in Test cricket - only Mark Taylor, Bob Simpson and Don Bradman have scored more. It is the second-highest by a captain against India, next only to Graham Gooch's 333 at Lord's in 1990.
- In only ten Tests as captain, Clarke has already scored four centuries, and averages more than 54 in these games.
- Clarke's knock is also the highest Test score by an Australian at the SCG, and the third-highest by any batsman at this ground - only Tip Foster (287) and Brian Lara (277) have scored more. With plenty of time left in the game, Clarke has an excellent opportunity to become the first batsman to score a triple-century in a Test at the SCG. And if he scores seven more, his will be the highest score by an Australian since Matthew Hayden's 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.
- The 288-run partnership between Clarke and Ponting is Australia's fifth-highest for the fourth wicket, and easily their highest for that wicket against India. Their previous best against India had also been achieved by the same pair - 210 in Adelaide in 2008.
- The partnership is the second-highest for the fourth wicket by any team when they've been three down for 50 or less. The only higher partnership was achieved in 1934, when Bradman and Bill Ponsford added 388 for the fourth wicket after Australia had been reduced to 39 for 3. This partnership equals the stand between Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe against Australia at Edgbaston in 1997, when they added 288 after being 50 for 3.
- For India, it was an entirely forgettable day. Not only did Clarke and Ponting put together the largest fourth-wicket stand that any team has managed against India, it also came when Australia had lost their top three cheaply. Stats clearly indicate that these recoveries happen against India far more often than against other sides. Only 14 times in Test cricket has the fourth-wicket pair added 200-plus runs after being three down for less than 50, and six of those have come against India, three of which have been since December 2008.
- The last Australian to score a Test double-hundred had been Ponting, when he scored 209 in Hobart against Pakistan in January 2010. On that occasion, Clarke had scored 166, and the pair had put together 352 for the fourth wicket after Australia had been 71 for 3. Since that knock, Ponting had gone 33 innings without a century before this innings.
- Ponting's hundred improves his already stunning record at the SCG: he has scored 1480 Test runs there at 67.27 with six centuries. At no other venue has he scored more runs or hundreds.
- Since the beginning of 2011, this is the sixth time that three Indian bowlers have conceded 100 or more runs in an innings. When Umesh Yadav reaches that mark, India will have four bowlers who've conceded 100-plus runs in an innings. Since 2000, that's happened to them 11 times.
S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter