Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 2nd day January 4, 2012

Clarke wants to continue earning respect

53

With 251 not out next to his name, and a match-defining partnership of 288 alongside Ricky Ponting in his pocket, Michael Clarke was given a moment to savour at the press conference after a landmark day for his Australian team. Standing to one side in the room was a columnist who had written derisively of Clarke in the past. His criticism of Clarke peaked in late 2009 with the following line: "His problem is a little more delicate. Michael Clarke is a tosser. Or, to give him an out clause, he appears to be a tosser."

When the juncture arrived for the author of that line to pose a question, he asked Clarke about what an innings like this would do for him in the "big picture". A voracious reader of the press and now a columnist himself, Clarke knew whom he was speaking to. His response carried a pointed word.

"Hopefully, it helps me continue to earn respect," Clarke said. "That's all I can do, and most importantly that helps me put this team in a position to win another Test match. That's our goal; that's my goal - to help Australia win as many games as we can.

"One of the things Punter [Ricky Ponting] taught me before I got the captaincy was as a leader you need to make sure you're standing up on the field; make sure you're leading from the front and scoring runs, and that's what I've tried to do since taking over the captaincy."

Respect is something Clarke has had to battle hard to gain, but he is now earning it in vast swathes with nimble captaincy and batting of increasing presence. He began the second day at the SCG as the recipient of ABC's Alan McGilvray award for Australia's cricketer of the year. The honour came as no surprise to anyone who had seen him lead a young team through its regeneration after Ponting gave up the captaincy following failed Ashes and World Cup campaigns.

"We're a team that's learning," Clarke said. "Young guys are getting a bit of experience and working out that winning Test matches is hard work. There's a really good feeling within the team but that's obviously because we're getting a bit of success.

"Our preparation couldn't be better, we just need to keep building on that consistency, continuing to do our work; and when you get chances in a game you've got to grab them with both hands. If India get on top of you, they're a really hard team to stop, so we've got to make sure that when we've got momentum we keep the ball rolling."

So far in Sydney, Clarke's team have demonstrated how much they are learning, against an Indian side that can only hope for a merciful declaration on the third day. Mindful of how the pitch had evolved from sporting on the first day to friendly on the second, Clarke said he would focus on getting quick runs and giving his bowlers maximum time to bowl the visitors out a second time.

"The track has flattened out a lot compared to day one, so the most important thing for us is making sure there's enough time left in the game to give ourselves a chance to bowl India out. I think we need to bat well tomorrow morning to set the game up. We're a long way from being 2-0 up, a lot of hard work needs to go in, but we're in a really good position."

As befits a captain in the middle of a Test, Clarke was more reticent to speak about his own unfinished innings, coruscating as it has been. He has the painful memory of Cape Town last year, when a sparkling innings was overshadowed by a harrowing defeat, to remind him against triumphalism.

"It's my highest score ever, I don't really know [if it is my best innings]," he said. "I was really proud of the 151 against South Africa; it came in really tough circumstances and that pitch did a lot more than this pitch did. But what makes me proud is I batted the whole day today.

"That's something I've always tried to do and haven't done very often, so that's very satisfying to bat a full day. It's fantastic to have a score beside my name like I do, but as I've seen in the past if you don't win the Test match, it means nothing."

At 251, Clarke has a galaxy of further batting milestones ahead to chase, but he is not thinking too much about them. On debut in Bangalore in 2004 he had been so concerned with mythology that he called for his baggy green cap to reach three figures in, even though India's fast bowlers were on. This time, he said, there would be no such request if he went past 300.

"I think I was a bit silly back then as a kid. I'll be keeping my helmet on if the fast bowlers are on."

Respected and respectful, Clarke has come a long way. He can rightly expect to never again be the subject of words so unkind.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • HatsforBats on January 5, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @ landl47; Ponting will go down as one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game, nobody cares about losing 3 ashes series except Ponting. He's also a comparable captain to the overly defensive Strauss (really not sure why he's in the team to be honest, it's not his tactical nous and it's certainly not his batting). I don't recall England handling Hilf & Sid easily in the 09 Ashes when they were leading wicket takers. By the way, how long since England produced top class batsmen? 5 or 6 years? Keep importing them from SA & Ireland mate, they're better than Shah, Bopara, Tredwell, Collingwood etc.

  • shasi21 on January 5, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Outstanding Innings by Clarke, full credit to him. Being a Indian supporter, I really enjoyed Clark's Innings.

    I think Team India should take Ishant out of the team. He is not even performing well in Sub-Continent and also in overseas for the past few years. Being a stike bowler for India he doesn't know how to bowl a good length delivery. Ishant bowls away from the batsmen or bowls a short pitch delivery and the batsmen score easy runs. Look Patterson, Hilfi and siddle, they bowled really well with good line and length which makes the Indian batsmen to stuggle to get runs.

    Congrats Clarke, I wish you to score more runs in cricket.

  • on January 5, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    It is difficult to understand why Clarke would not have pushed in to get past the 400 world record. As a Windies fan I am grateful. However, to be on 329 with an hour to go before tea on the 3rd day with the bowling at your mercy.....hmmmm.

  • on January 5, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    Clarke show that how to play test cricket. Ponting,Hussey come back in form. It makes Indians horrible.....

  • mansel on January 5, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Prash Smith - to say you don't rate Clarke and making excuses about your bowling attack and lack of a spinning track etc etc. is really bad sportsmanship and reeks of excuse making. He has flogged your bowling attack which is part of the second best test side in the world. There are no excuses. Clarke is a fine batsmen who has made a mockery of your side this test.

  • Simoc on January 5, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    It doesn't get much better for Clarke personally, 300+ in a test in front of his home crowd as captain and showing off his immense batting skills.

  • AidanFX on January 5, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    Suddenly Clarke goes from the tage "Most overrated player" - to now "Most underrated player" - interesting world this is hey?

  • landl47 on January 5, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    Australia under Clarke look a much more positive side than they did under Ponting. Ponting was fine when everything was going well, but when times got tough he looked unimaginative and indecisive. He was lucky to have a great side to lead in his early years, but he'll still go down as the first Australian captain in modern times to lose 3 Ashes series. Clarke's going to have it much tougher. He has a couple of good young bowling prospects in Pattinson and Cummins, but otherwise the bowling isn't great (sorry, my Aus friends, but Siddle and Hilf are the same bowlers England handled easily and Lyon is nowhere near a test spinner). The batting is extremely vulnerable and what's disturbing is that the younger players just don't look top class. With Ponting and Hussey, at 37 and 36, at the end of their careers and no-one on the horizon, Clarke's going to have a very hard time keeping Aus in games. I like him and I wish him good luck- he'll need it.

  • Mitcher on January 4, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Great knock Clarke! Good to see 3 impressive knocks since taking captaincy that have come with the team under great pressure. While he has previously not always played his best cricket with the team under pressure, the disgraceful abuse some have heaped on a good man has been way over the top. Even when he was in a slump there was little doubt he remained one of the best 6 batsmen in Australia (painfully proven by the difficulty the new guys are having). Hopefully the haters can now realise he is easily Australia's best option as captain and a must in the batting line up if this team is to develop.

  • on January 4, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    I dont rate Clarke as a batsman despite his double century. He's apparently a good player of spin of course but then there's very few spin friendly tracks around. The Indian bowling attack was very limp hence why the Australians had several players score over 50.

  • HatsforBats on January 5, 2012, 6:38 GMT

    @ landl47; Ponting will go down as one of the greatest batsmen to have played the game, nobody cares about losing 3 ashes series except Ponting. He's also a comparable captain to the overly defensive Strauss (really not sure why he's in the team to be honest, it's not his tactical nous and it's certainly not his batting). I don't recall England handling Hilf & Sid easily in the 09 Ashes when they were leading wicket takers. By the way, how long since England produced top class batsmen? 5 or 6 years? Keep importing them from SA & Ireland mate, they're better than Shah, Bopara, Tredwell, Collingwood etc.

  • shasi21 on January 5, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    Outstanding Innings by Clarke, full credit to him. Being a Indian supporter, I really enjoyed Clark's Innings.

    I think Team India should take Ishant out of the team. He is not even performing well in Sub-Continent and also in overseas for the past few years. Being a stike bowler for India he doesn't know how to bowl a good length delivery. Ishant bowls away from the batsmen or bowls a short pitch delivery and the batsmen score easy runs. Look Patterson, Hilfi and siddle, they bowled really well with good line and length which makes the Indian batsmen to stuggle to get runs.

    Congrats Clarke, I wish you to score more runs in cricket.

  • on January 5, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    It is difficult to understand why Clarke would not have pushed in to get past the 400 world record. As a Windies fan I am grateful. However, to be on 329 with an hour to go before tea on the 3rd day with the bowling at your mercy.....hmmmm.

  • on January 5, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    Clarke show that how to play test cricket. Ponting,Hussey come back in form. It makes Indians horrible.....

  • mansel on January 5, 2012, 3:06 GMT

    Prash Smith - to say you don't rate Clarke and making excuses about your bowling attack and lack of a spinning track etc etc. is really bad sportsmanship and reeks of excuse making. He has flogged your bowling attack which is part of the second best test side in the world. There are no excuses. Clarke is a fine batsmen who has made a mockery of your side this test.

  • Simoc on January 5, 2012, 2:26 GMT

    It doesn't get much better for Clarke personally, 300+ in a test in front of his home crowd as captain and showing off his immense batting skills.

  • AidanFX on January 5, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    Suddenly Clarke goes from the tage "Most overrated player" - to now "Most underrated player" - interesting world this is hey?

  • landl47 on January 5, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    Australia under Clarke look a much more positive side than they did under Ponting. Ponting was fine when everything was going well, but when times got tough he looked unimaginative and indecisive. He was lucky to have a great side to lead in his early years, but he'll still go down as the first Australian captain in modern times to lose 3 Ashes series. Clarke's going to have it much tougher. He has a couple of good young bowling prospects in Pattinson and Cummins, but otherwise the bowling isn't great (sorry, my Aus friends, but Siddle and Hilf are the same bowlers England handled easily and Lyon is nowhere near a test spinner). The batting is extremely vulnerable and what's disturbing is that the younger players just don't look top class. With Ponting and Hussey, at 37 and 36, at the end of their careers and no-one on the horizon, Clarke's going to have a very hard time keeping Aus in games. I like him and I wish him good luck- he'll need it.

  • Mitcher on January 4, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    Great knock Clarke! Good to see 3 impressive knocks since taking captaincy that have come with the team under great pressure. While he has previously not always played his best cricket with the team under pressure, the disgraceful abuse some have heaped on a good man has been way over the top. Even when he was in a slump there was little doubt he remained one of the best 6 batsmen in Australia (painfully proven by the difficulty the new guys are having). Hopefully the haters can now realise he is easily Australia's best option as captain and a must in the batting line up if this team is to develop.

  • on January 4, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    I dont rate Clarke as a batsman despite his double century. He's apparently a good player of spin of course but then there's very few spin friendly tracks around. The Indian bowling attack was very limp hence why the Australians had several players score over 50.

  • mangomac on January 4, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    The said journalist was spot on. Clarke did appear to be a tosser. The difference is that some people behave like tossers in bad situations and others are just tossers period. So yes, he had been behaving like a tosser but now he is earning respect. Great knock indeed.

  • on January 4, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    I have liked Michael Clarke always. He is a determined, young and ambitious cricketer who lets his bat talk more than his tongue. His attitude is very unlike Australian. Cricket needs players like him for bringing grace to this game, on and off the field. He keeps it simple when he loses and stays the same after being victorious, thus making fans all around the world. Confesses with bold honesty that Australia would not be as strong as it was when McGrath, Warne and Hayden were around yet remains optimistic for the future of Australia. It gives me great pleasure to see a crickter of his caliber.

  • hhillbumper on January 4, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    chirs sun.There is no way on gods green earth that India can bat out this test.You don't have the skill against even this modest Aus attack.Keep dreaming though.

  • HimanshuKapoor on January 4, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Michael Clarke is a good player and has been under the shadow of great Australian player, when the time has come he has shown his leadership qualities by performing by example. I wish him to break Brian Lara's record.

  • Alexk400 on January 4, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    If clarke is scoring means indian bowling is horriblem and dhoni on field captaincy is BRAINLESS. That said it is not easy to bat when your team is down 3 wickets early. He showed an intend. Indians are not showing intend to fighjt or win. Very disappointed at indians.

  • Shan156 on January 4, 2012, 17:06 GMT

    The biggest difference between the two sides is the captaincy. Clarke is definitely a better (test) batsman than Dhoni and way superior to him as a captain. Seriously, what was Dhoni thinking? Second day of the match and he operates with part-timers for such a long time (even with a 20 over old ball). Even when his main bowlers were bowling, he used defensive fields. In stark contrast, Clarke persisted with attacking fields even when Siddle went for a few. His bowlers were bowling to a plan and Clarke was fully aware of that and supported his bowlers completely. India threw the towel just on the second day. But, even with the defensive fields, Australia were scoring at over 4 an over. I am surprised how this team managed to stay #1 for 2 years. Dhoni was a lucky captain and his luck seems to have run out. This was supposed to be India's best chance of winning a series in Australia and they are blowing it. It is hard to see India come back into this series. 4-0 on the cards

  • on January 4, 2012, 17:01 GMT

    Pratt Aswalkar well said, totally agreed. He is a fine captain who is handling a young team.. hope he makes the 1st 300 at SCG. Best of Luck!!

  • on January 4, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Clarke is like Dhoni for Australia, confident, assured, relaxed yet completely in control. Wish him all the luck. More importantly, because of such a figure waiting in the wings for captaincy, it has lifted a great deal of burden from Punter's shoulders and get ready for one last swansong

  • prsubbu on January 4, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    Can our great grandfather trio (Dravid + Tendulkar + Laxman) together, in both innings, score as many as Clarke has scored in this one innings? I would not bet a single penny on it. Well, we have to give a little consideration for our Trio's age. You know, as one ages, short sight (Myopia) sets in and they probably need a bi-focal spectacles to identify and locate "something RED" coming towards them at 140+ KM/H from their grandson generation... LOL

  • CricLook on January 4, 2012, 16:38 GMT

    The innings of Clarke is a fantastic one..But respect is another thing...You just cant cry for that but you have to earn it. Border did it , so is Taylor, Steve and Ponting. Double ton in SCG is not a very very special type of innings. Even Clarke himself rate 151 in Capetown ahead..In the swinging wicket of Melbourne his contribution is 0 and 3. In Johannesburg his contribution is 11 & 2. Its not the contribution of a captain when his team is in great danger. So what Clarke need is to value his wicket and score runs at the time of need , then respect will automatically come. No need to urge. If the Katch saga is anywhere near true..then he has to correct himself quickly if he want to be one of them as his predcessors ..

  • mafiasam on January 4, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    While I hang my head in shame and full with disgust as an Indian team supporter for our team's performances, I must acknowledge Clarke's stepping up as a captain and showing that he is not a pup anymore. Great innings by him, if he keeps playing like this, he will inspire all his teammates like Punter did in the past.

  • Chris_P on January 4, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    Totally agree RoJayao. Some of these guys seem to forget that bodies age & reflexes slow down as eyesight fades, otherwise Viv, Chappelli, Lloyd, Gavaskar et al would still be playing!

  • Harry_Kool on January 4, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    @Chris Sun. Keep dreaming son. the easter bunny will fill all your stockings as well. So, knocking Lee's average? let me ask you, how many Indian pace bowlers have an average lower than his? Keep writing, your posts are amusing if nothing else. I did like the fighting qualities one. They have showed so much of it the last 6 away tests. The Pommies were in awe of those qualities.

  • PradeepR on January 4, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    Congratulations all Aussie fans. I think this match and the series is already yours.

    @Chris Sun - I don't think they've anymore miracles left. A huge problem for us is that they are still the best in the country and there is no one on the horizon to replace them. There is one Rohit Sharma but I really don't know why he is not being given enough chances.

    Sourav Ganguly retired sometime ago, but we still do not have a good replacement for him. Indian test cricket is doomed for the next few years to come once the big 3 retire over the next 1-2 years.

    In the limited over versions of the game we are alright. We can do very well even without them, but tests is a different game altogether.

  • Whip on January 4, 2012, 15:17 GMT

    @RahulCricket007, Aussies do not bat or bowl for lame personal records. Aussies are a proud bunch and they play for their baggy green.

  • pr3m on January 4, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    I agree with people who say that they should keep batting. Declaration on a pitch that's doing nothing makes no sense, and it will deteriorate as the game goes on. Tomorrow's entire day should be batted out and declaration should come only in the fourth morning, I'd go as far as saying the fourth afternoon. One or two Indian bowlers will be injured out, and the Aussie bowlers will have a better time on a pitch that's getting increasingly bumpy to bat on. As for pup, kudos. Well done, even though I did not have the slightest respect for him before, he's grown up well. I won't comment on the backroom antics, since we'll never know the real picture, but on the field he now looks worthy of representing a nation.

  • on January 4, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    Now i predict PUP's nxt two innings: 0 & 7 (under dobule figure) Cz everytym he play a giant knock followed by NORTH flu. Prove is in last 3/4 serise........

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 4, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Well played Clarke. Congrats on your double. Wonderful strokeplay. More than a lesson or two for our batsmen. I will not be surprised if he goes on to make 400+, if the Australian thinktank wants to continue and completely bat us out of the match. Let's see. Really tough for India from here on to bounce back in this test and the series as well me thinks... :(

  • 777aditya on January 4, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    not only respect - more recognition as well - he is no doubt an underrated batsman - hope he goes from strength to strength - was an absolute pleasure to watch him bat - Test batting at its very best - he even overshadowed Ponting in their partnership, no mean achievement - hope he gets a 300!

    Team India, please come back home with omelet pans - lots of tomatoes and eggs waiting for you!

  • on January 4, 2012, 14:21 GMT

    Great knock clarke and ponting. Hope the lineup which boasts 56000 runs can learn something from it. Just a query to cricket fans. Is there a way to "WALKOVER" / "FORFEIT" a test match ?. Has any team done it in past ?. I think Indian team wants answer to this query desparately.

  • on January 4, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    It was tremendous to see both Punter and Clarke do so well today... their batting was something else. It was a great lesson too for the younger generation of batters who obviously still have a lot to learn. I was also so impressed with the genuine joy and respect Clarke and Ponting have for each other... their professionalism in carrying out their task of batting Australian into a winnable position and for enjoying and respecting each other's contribution and milestones. I really don't get the whole 'Anti Clarke' thing... I don't know what they guy has to do to please the public or writers... who cares if he has tats or had a blonde as a girl friend... I don't recall every hearing that he turned up to practice still drunk from the night before like a certain ex Aust all-rounder... Clarke, you are great - do you it your way - be proud of it because you have ignited new air in this Aus team. Australia are lucky to have you at the helm.

  • allblue on January 4, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    What a strange couple of months for the Australian team! 21 for 9 and 47 all out, losing at home to NZ and now crushing India. It's a bit hard to assess the relative merits of all those sides in that swirl of results, but one seems clear is that Aussie have appointed the right captain to take them forward. I think it's fair to say that the Aussie public wasn't exactly over-enthusiastic about his appointment, but he's led the team well in the field and has clearly established his authority, essential for a skipper. Some players improve their personal form in the role, he's been a bit up and down there with a great knock in SA and again here, but a bunch of low scores in between so we'll see how that goes. One thing a team, particularly a struggling team, needs is leadership and Clarke is standing up well in the role so far.

  • RoJayao on January 4, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    @Chris Sun, not sure how many more miracles your senior citizens of India have left in them! You're certainly gonna need another to get out of this one! Enjoy your memories, that's all that's left sorry to say.

  • on January 4, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    MC 251*not out and he talks about the word "respect.' This is the same MC who back stabbed Simon Katich!! the same Simon katich who was on top of his game and producing the goods for Australia. The reason he was punted from the Australian team? beacuse of the dressing room bust up with MC.

  • on January 4, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    he has risen to captaincy very well 4 test centuries very good and as shown great responsibilty in feild and to the press he deserves respect i had respect for him before as a player now it has extended to a captain

  • Yevghenny on January 4, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    It's definitely on for Clarke if he continues to bat as he was on day 2. But let's not underestimate the genius of Lara, 400 is a monumental innings

  • satish619chandar on January 4, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Clarke truly commands respect.. The way he manages his bowlers is great to see.. No overburn.. He handled Lyon with lot more care and clearly knows when to use and where to use.. Same with usage of Hussey.. It helps when u have bowlers who are ready to attack relentlessly.. He just allowed them to unleash them in full flow.. I loved every bit of his captaincy and the way he handled the team in last 2 tests..

  • jplterrors on January 4, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    Indians on this need to show a bit of patriotism and back their team, it worked with me and NZ who now have a greater test team then India and OZ. The Wall if he likes the Aussies so much should open in the 2nd innings and see if they return the favour..Gambhir to 6 and u may get something out of him, Kohli to 3.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 4, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    I THINK CLARKE HAS THE OPPUTUNITY TO BREAK LARA 'S RECORD OF 400 . I M NOT JOKING . THIS IS SERIOUS . THERE ARE 3 DAYS PLAY LEFT IN THIS MATCH . CLARKE SHOULD BAT THE NEXT WHOLE DAY & JUST DECLARE BEFORE 15 OVERS FROM STUMPS TOMMOROW . WELL , THERE WILL BE STILL 2 DAYS LEFT . & PATTINSON & CO . WILL DESTROY INDIAN BATTING IN 2 SESSIONS AT MOST .

  • righthandbat on January 4, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Clarke is a fine captain, batsman and gentleman. His innings today was one of the best ever and shows what an underrated cricketer he really is. I hope he goes on to make the first 300 at the SCG.

  • on January 4, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    He has always been under the shade of great players. I think it is always tough to make your own identity in the presence of players who are greater than you in some manners. But this guy has always been different. Clarke from 'old Australia' & clarke from 'current Australia' are seriously way different. Whenever I saw him playing I saw a stylish batsman in him. Aussies are stylish cricketers. Talented like hell. They race for respect. It is sign of greatness. Micheal Clarke holds the same greatness. He is man with greater future. I wish him all the luck because that is what he needed. He has got great great talent !!

  • RandyOZ on January 4, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Clarke is earning more respect, but he would earn even more if he backed up his centuries. Too often has a single digit followed a big score!

  • popcorn on January 4, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    I would have expected the Columnist who wrote so derisively about Michael Clarke to either slink out of the Media Room or apologize. He did neither. Wonder who pays for his column.It is to Michael Clarke that he did not bite back.

  • on January 4, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    The Indians are known for fight backs. Its about time one occurred. Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman should all put in the innings of their life. Look at the West Indies when the scored almost 600 only to be bowled out for 134 second time around. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid have done things for Australia in the past (Kolkata and Adelaide), now it is time for them to do it again. If the pitch is as easy to bat on as Clarke has shown, then the Australia bowlers could be in for a hard time. Pattinson's dream run can't continue. It has to end one way or another. Brett Lee had 42 wickets in his first 7 tests at an average of 16 and a strike rate of around 30 but it blew out to an average of 30 at a strike rate of 53 when he finished his career. His dream of being the best bowler in the world only confined to ODI's.

  • on January 4, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    I think the current Indian team should play only T-20 in sub continent because thats the only format and only place where they can win...

  • farkin on January 4, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    "Standing to one side in the room was a columnist who had written derisively of Clarke in the past." his next head line maybe tosser makes good!

  • HatsforBats on January 4, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Clarke has been unfairly maligned for years by both Australian media and fans; mostly for his public profile and his perceived lack of substance in the middle. Being the same age I've found it frustrating that his ability and work ethic have gone unrecognised. This must be a rewarding feeling for Clarke, and it's good to finally see him get the respect he deserves.; by far the most talented player we've produced in a decade. Definitely his biggest inningss, but not his finest.

  • PiyushD on January 4, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    well done Clarke but I will always treat your 151 against SA much higher than this 250 on this dead track.

  • Samdanh on January 4, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Beware Australia: Please do not take India's second innings wickets for granted. This lead is just the foundation. Play all day or up to tea, if you can, and build on the lead. Take yourself to a position from where you need not bat again on last day. Remember there are 3 FULL DAYS still. So do not hand over your wickets tomorrow, thinking that lead of 300 or 400 is enough. With India's batting line up and the current state of the pitch and time available in the Test match, Australia-you need to bat on till end of day tomorrow! You still will have 2 full days to bowl India out! Best Wishes

  • shuvo_bba on January 4, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Hats off to this natural leader!!! Batted like a maestro all the day when an old Punter also reveals that he can score tons still. A positive , dominating & fantastic day for Australia and so much frustration for India. I hope Pup will continue his classic innings to a great margin maybe over 300 & declare then to thrash India in the 2nd Innings as quickly as possible.

  • Yevghenny on January 4, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Stayed up a bit watching Clarke last night and he looked back to his best very early on with some wonderfully fluent boundaries. I haven't lost much sleep over his poor form as an Englishman, but I knew he was a class act and it's good to see him responding in such a manner.

  • East_West on January 4, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Congrats CLARKE - you deserve it! Although I haven't watched your style of play in the past, your recent SA score really made me to stop and watch your class act! You will be greater than Ricky! good luck! I am an Indian but loves the way Aussies play - you folks always deserved #1 test nation status and you play like one! Well, India..that's another story - we lack 3Ds! hope this indian team learns from you folks!

  • 5wombats on January 4, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    The wombats like Michael Clarke. He's doing a good job considering the position he inherited. Now he's doing what a captain should do - and that's lead from the front. Well played.

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  • 5wombats on January 4, 2012, 10:09 GMT

    The wombats like Michael Clarke. He's doing a good job considering the position he inherited. Now he's doing what a captain should do - and that's lead from the front. Well played.

  • East_West on January 4, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    Congrats CLARKE - you deserve it! Although I haven't watched your style of play in the past, your recent SA score really made me to stop and watch your class act! You will be greater than Ricky! good luck! I am an Indian but loves the way Aussies play - you folks always deserved #1 test nation status and you play like one! Well, India..that's another story - we lack 3Ds! hope this indian team learns from you folks!

  • Yevghenny on January 4, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Stayed up a bit watching Clarke last night and he looked back to his best very early on with some wonderfully fluent boundaries. I haven't lost much sleep over his poor form as an Englishman, but I knew he was a class act and it's good to see him responding in such a manner.

  • shuvo_bba on January 4, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Hats off to this natural leader!!! Batted like a maestro all the day when an old Punter also reveals that he can score tons still. A positive , dominating & fantastic day for Australia and so much frustration for India. I hope Pup will continue his classic innings to a great margin maybe over 300 & declare then to thrash India in the 2nd Innings as quickly as possible.

  • Samdanh on January 4, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    Beware Australia: Please do not take India's second innings wickets for granted. This lead is just the foundation. Play all day or up to tea, if you can, and build on the lead. Take yourself to a position from where you need not bat again on last day. Remember there are 3 FULL DAYS still. So do not hand over your wickets tomorrow, thinking that lead of 300 or 400 is enough. With India's batting line up and the current state of the pitch and time available in the Test match, Australia-you need to bat on till end of day tomorrow! You still will have 2 full days to bowl India out! Best Wishes

  • PiyushD on January 4, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    well done Clarke but I will always treat your 151 against SA much higher than this 250 on this dead track.

  • HatsforBats on January 4, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    Clarke has been unfairly maligned for years by both Australian media and fans; mostly for his public profile and his perceived lack of substance in the middle. Being the same age I've found it frustrating that his ability and work ethic have gone unrecognised. This must be a rewarding feeling for Clarke, and it's good to finally see him get the respect he deserves.; by far the most talented player we've produced in a decade. Definitely his biggest inningss, but not his finest.

  • farkin on January 4, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    "Standing to one side in the room was a columnist who had written derisively of Clarke in the past." his next head line maybe tosser makes good!

  • on January 4, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    I think the current Indian team should play only T-20 in sub continent because thats the only format and only place where they can win...

  • on January 4, 2012, 10:59 GMT

    The Indians are known for fight backs. Its about time one occurred. Gambhir, Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman should all put in the innings of their life. Look at the West Indies when the scored almost 600 only to be bowled out for 134 second time around. VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid have done things for Australia in the past (Kolkata and Adelaide), now it is time for them to do it again. If the pitch is as easy to bat on as Clarke has shown, then the Australia bowlers could be in for a hard time. Pattinson's dream run can't continue. It has to end one way or another. Brett Lee had 42 wickets in his first 7 tests at an average of 16 and a strike rate of around 30 but it blew out to an average of 30 at a strike rate of 53 when he finished his career. His dream of being the best bowler in the world only confined to ODI's.