Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day January 5, 2012

'We're starting to see the real Michael Clarke' - Taylor

51

Michael Clarke's unbeaten 329, and the manner of its conclusion, have made "enormous inroads" for him to be respected by all in Australia and beyond, former captain Mark Taylor has said. Having made a similarly significant score and declaration when unbeaten on 334 against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998, Taylor believed Clarke would have very few detractors left after spending time as a polarising figure when vice-captain to Ricky Ponting.

It should not be forgotten that Taylor's own successful tenure as captain of Australia was preceded by a period of doubts about his capabilities. Allan Border's deputy, Taylor, had his fitness, batting style and suitability for one-day cricket questioned, and was even dropped to 12th-man duties at the conclusion of a poor summer against West Indies in 1992-93. However he flourished when granted the captaincy in 1994, and said Clarke had made a similar graduation.

"You earn respect by the gestures and what you do in the game, the way you play the game," Taylor said. "I think all these things will really help Michael Clarke. But I really think since he's become the full-time captain, we're now starting to see who Michael Clarke really is.

"I think up to that stage, when you're vice-captain, particularly when you're vice-captain to a guy like Ricky who has been around for so long, been such a good player, captained three in World Cups, it's hard to do the vice captaincy job right and keep everyone happy. In fact it's impossible. I think a lot of people focused on the negatives of Michael Clarke, but now he is the main man and I think we're starting to see the real Michael Clarke."

As a Cricket Australia board director, Taylor was one of the power-brokers who approved Clarke's ascension to the captaincy, while as part of the Argus review panel he has played a key role in building the new support structure around him. He said Clarke had always shown a genuine love of and flair for the game, but it was only now as captain that many in the public could take notice of this.

"I think he's made enormous inroads this summer and I'm delighted to see it because personally, I've always been a big supporter of Michael Clarke," Taylor said. "I've seen for a number years what people are now seeing from Michael Clarke. He's a guy who loves the game of cricket and I don't think people have quite understood that with Michael.

"He had an opportunity to make the world Test record today, there's no doubt about that. He needed another 72 to break the record. He could've done that and still had two days to bowl India out and win this Test match. He could've achieved both goals but what he wanted to say is 'yes, I want to do well myself, every player does and that's human nature, but I want to captain a side that's going to win first' and that's a very important thing to have."

In Peshawar, Taylor spent a night unbeaten on Don Bradman's 334 before deciding to declare, and said Clarke's innings and its circumstances brought back plenty of memories. In any innings of that magnitude the batsman can become locked into a "zone" of timing and concentration, where it is their own fatigue and lack of a clear goal that can dismiss them as much as any bowler.

"Having watched Michael today, you get to the stage when you get to 200 plus where you are really in that zone Greg Norman [the golfer] talked about," Taylor said. "Every ball is hitting the middle of your bat and I couldn't see him getting out, to me I only experienced it once in my career and that was in Peshawar on the second day.

"Michael hopefully - he is a younger man than I was - will get a chance to experience it again, because it took me right until the end of my career to get to that stage. It's [about] continuing to look for some reason to keep going, because the first thing you are told as a batsman is to get a 100 … then you get to 200 and you think 'I've now got a big 100 - how many more do I get?'

"That's when people often dong one up in the air or play a shot they haven't played for two or three hours. Michael kept going all the way and it was only the first ball after he got to 300 that he had a big flash at a wide one. That's the one you could easily nick and be out for 303 and look back on that one ball as the only time you didn't concentrate for ages. That can happen when you get to a score like that and you start getting tired."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on January 6, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Clark next Australian Prime Minister

  • on January 6, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    I would like to see Michael Clarke play this type of knock away from Australia. Scoring against bowling attack like India is not a great achievement and that too on flat track. I appreciate that clarke had declared Australian innings as early as possible without looking for his 400 runs. But he should have gone for that 400 runs because all Australian bowlers need is good 100 overs to remove India batsmen comfortable.

  • Meety on January 6, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    @nulla - oh well you can't pls them all! @rahulcricket007 - LOL! That's the funniest thing I've ever heard! (Well not quite, but it's rather weird logic!). Clarke taking 8 years to get a TRIPLE test ton & not being much good must means that Tendulkar is crud for taking 20 years to never get one! LOL! LOL! Fact - it took SRT 10 years to get his first double ton AGAINST NZ, & he followed up with another against ZIMBABWE.His highest Test score is against BANGLADESH! His 241 against Oz is the only decent BIG score SRT has EVER got in Tests! On your logic Clarke > Sachin!!!!! Well unless of course you think India are worse than Zimbabwe, NZ & Bangladesh that is! LOL!!!!! Cricinfo pls publish!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ygkd on January 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Read in the media today that apparently Clark is not liked as much as his former captain because he's middle class and Ponting is working class. Sounds a workable theory, but then, if you think about it, other facts sort of get in the way. Clark is from Liverpool in Sydney's working class western suburbs and Ponting is the fast-tracked nephew of one of the (then) few Tasmanian holders of a baggy green. So which one is priviledged and which one just worked hard? Or should both be treated equally because neither has been more priviledged or harder working than the other?

  • donda on January 6, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Man o Man, Clarke just did the most humble thing in cricket by declaring at that point. This man is clever, shrewd and intelligent, he just earned the respect of every cricket loving fan in the world by not going for world record.

    Classic example how a cricket who grow up in a great system under great captain and then become a great leader.

    This gesture by Clarke is a gesture of a leader. Who don't care about himself but the team and winning.

    Awesome dude. Clarke is player of the year 2012 already.

  • dms1972 on January 6, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, interesting observation about how long it took Michael Clarke to score his first double century. It took Tendulkar 10 years of Test cricket before he scored his first double century.

  • on January 6, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    My best wishes to Micheal Clarke. Australia started the series as under-dogs. They hardly had anything to boast. Australia began 2011 as a fading force. Not very comprehensive series- just 1-0 in SL,1-1 in SA,1-1 v NZ. I felt if they barely manage to square/win a series against these sides. Then what's in store v India. India are coming off a confident series win v England at home where they unraveled Umesh Yadav as a new pace kid and so was R.Ashwin succesful against WI. Really felt It'll be advantage India with all the hype about legendary batting lineup and new look bowling attack. Even when in MCG,India looked like they would snatch the victory. But Hussey and Ponting played brilliantly..they were not in good form...both of them under firing ....Fine 89 in MCG by Hussey and 60 by Ponting. They just managed to set a target..but Clarke was great with his field and tactics. India could not chase 292 in seaming conditions though boasting a world-class batting lineup.

  • John_Geo on January 6, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    What a lesson to Asian cricketers who worship individual milestones over team achievements. I hope particularly the Indian cricketers hear this message well. It is a blessing to see in a world where people blindly chase 100th hundred or 1000th test wicket, there are also those who not only say but endeavour to prove for every selfish envoy, there is a dedicated leader. Among those who crave for selling their brawn and brain to the highest bidder, there are those few who never put a price tag on his heart and soul. Well done Clark - we need many more of your sort in cricket and the world would have been a far better place with leaders of your calibur.

  • Naresh28 on January 5, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    REALLY GREAT to watch all three Australian batsman. Loved the Hussey cover drive. The Ponting hook. The Clarke bat speed, footwork,confidence and strokes. Here are three in the best of form against a poor bowling attack. INDIAN FAN

  • on January 5, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    @nulla has he created the image that you are prepared to let him bat for your life? Probably not but making 329* after India was bowled out for 191 and Australia was 3/37 showed he is well on the way to show the Australia public that he can be.

  • on January 6, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    Clark next Australian Prime Minister

  • on January 6, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    I would like to see Michael Clarke play this type of knock away from Australia. Scoring against bowling attack like India is not a great achievement and that too on flat track. I appreciate that clarke had declared Australian innings as early as possible without looking for his 400 runs. But he should have gone for that 400 runs because all Australian bowlers need is good 100 overs to remove India batsmen comfortable.

  • Meety on January 6, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    @nulla - oh well you can't pls them all! @rahulcricket007 - LOL! That's the funniest thing I've ever heard! (Well not quite, but it's rather weird logic!). Clarke taking 8 years to get a TRIPLE test ton & not being much good must means that Tendulkar is crud for taking 20 years to never get one! LOL! LOL! Fact - it took SRT 10 years to get his first double ton AGAINST NZ, & he followed up with another against ZIMBABWE.His highest Test score is against BANGLADESH! His 241 against Oz is the only decent BIG score SRT has EVER got in Tests! On your logic Clarke > Sachin!!!!! Well unless of course you think India are worse than Zimbabwe, NZ & Bangladesh that is! LOL!!!!! Cricinfo pls publish!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ygkd on January 6, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Read in the media today that apparently Clark is not liked as much as his former captain because he's middle class and Ponting is working class. Sounds a workable theory, but then, if you think about it, other facts sort of get in the way. Clark is from Liverpool in Sydney's working class western suburbs and Ponting is the fast-tracked nephew of one of the (then) few Tasmanian holders of a baggy green. So which one is priviledged and which one just worked hard? Or should both be treated equally because neither has been more priviledged or harder working than the other?

  • donda on January 6, 2012, 6:00 GMT

    Man o Man, Clarke just did the most humble thing in cricket by declaring at that point. This man is clever, shrewd and intelligent, he just earned the respect of every cricket loving fan in the world by not going for world record.

    Classic example how a cricket who grow up in a great system under great captain and then become a great leader.

    This gesture by Clarke is a gesture of a leader. Who don't care about himself but the team and winning.

    Awesome dude. Clarke is player of the year 2012 already.

  • dms1972 on January 6, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    @rahulcricket007, interesting observation about how long it took Michael Clarke to score his first double century. It took Tendulkar 10 years of Test cricket before he scored his first double century.

  • on January 6, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    My best wishes to Micheal Clarke. Australia started the series as under-dogs. They hardly had anything to boast. Australia began 2011 as a fading force. Not very comprehensive series- just 1-0 in SL,1-1 in SA,1-1 v NZ. I felt if they barely manage to square/win a series against these sides. Then what's in store v India. India are coming off a confident series win v England at home where they unraveled Umesh Yadav as a new pace kid and so was R.Ashwin succesful against WI. Really felt It'll be advantage India with all the hype about legendary batting lineup and new look bowling attack. Even when in MCG,India looked like they would snatch the victory. But Hussey and Ponting played brilliantly..they were not in good form...both of them under firing ....Fine 89 in MCG by Hussey and 60 by Ponting. They just managed to set a target..but Clarke was great with his field and tactics. India could not chase 292 in seaming conditions though boasting a world-class batting lineup.

  • John_Geo on January 6, 2012, 3:40 GMT

    What a lesson to Asian cricketers who worship individual milestones over team achievements. I hope particularly the Indian cricketers hear this message well. It is a blessing to see in a world where people blindly chase 100th hundred or 1000th test wicket, there are also those who not only say but endeavour to prove for every selfish envoy, there is a dedicated leader. Among those who crave for selling their brawn and brain to the highest bidder, there are those few who never put a price tag on his heart and soul. Well done Clark - we need many more of your sort in cricket and the world would have been a far better place with leaders of your calibur.

  • Naresh28 on January 5, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    REALLY GREAT to watch all three Australian batsman. Loved the Hussey cover drive. The Ponting hook. The Clarke bat speed, footwork,confidence and strokes. Here are three in the best of form against a poor bowling attack. INDIAN FAN

  • on January 5, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    @nulla has he created the image that you are prepared to let him bat for your life? Probably not but making 329* after India was bowled out for 191 and Australia was 3/37 showed he is well on the way to show the Australia public that he can be.

  • on January 5, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    amazing innings from da captain well deserved nd i wud like to see an in form Michael Clarke

  • MrPud on January 5, 2012, 20:22 GMT

    The Pup has now grown into a big dog! Disappointed with the timing of the declaration as there was time to go for Lara's 501 and still knock over India's brittle batting.

  • Mitcher on January 5, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    @nully: well I guess he can only start doing that by, I don't know, taking to the captaincy like a fish to water, in the process scoring four hundreds (three of them with the team under great pressure). I honestly thought clarke's latest achievements would at least quiet the haters momentarily. But, I guess some people would rather cling grimly to that hate than admit they may even have got it even slightly wrong.

  • on January 5, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    I agree with everyone on the IPL part. But what amazes me is how one innings makes a difference in terms of praises and brick bats.. If Clarke fails to score in the next 8 innings, this innings will be forgotten!

  • spence1324 on January 5, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    @Randyoz and jonesy2 yeah what ever,I seem to recalled that both of you were dead against Clarke becoming captain of Australian now that he has done this both of you have brought first class tickets onto the bandwagon!

  • hashabjp on January 5, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    @RandyOZ... Best player of spin.. well think again ...Vinrender Sehway, Abraham Benjamin Devilliers, Sachin Tendulkar ( ask Shane Warne), Kumar Sangakara just to name a few but certainly a good player of spin. Anyways care less ... GO PROTEAS give Sri Lanka some hammering .. Sorry Indian back to blackboard.

  • aqwsde on January 5, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    I like one thing most about Clark - that is his love for test cricket.Everyone is playing IPL for money,but he is ignoring it from 1st season.hats off

  • on January 5, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    For so long, Clarke has been considered a mediocre batsman. Just look at his test average considering he has played a lot of test matches. Certainly he has not the aura of any other australian captain but he lives up the expectations of captaining the world's most profession team. Congratulations for slowly earning respect from the Australian public

  • on January 5, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    I know its highly optimistic n more so unrealistic...but its the perfect time for sachin to get his 1st triple century ,get his 100th ton...save the game...i dnt think there can be a better time to get his 100th super century....all the best Sachin Tendulkar

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    one innings don't make you great, he is around for so much time in test cricket

  • skip1968 on January 5, 2012, 13:54 GMT

    Hard to argue against a triple century in test cricket and in terms of his captaincy his best trait thus far is his rotation of the bowlers in short sharp spells.

    However to shake the selfish image and truly be regarded as great he should be batting at first drop. Simply not good enough at age 30 to be batting behind rookie test players like Khawaja and Marsh.

  • SkillNotResult on January 5, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    Wouldn't it be nice if some other cricketers were allowed 77 tests before we start, "...to see the real" version?

  • Major_Hammad on January 5, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Great and Superb Tripple Hundred by Clarke. Also Excellent batting by Hussey and Ponting, congratulation to all.

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    uNDERATED PLAYER GREAT WORK CLARKE

  • rahulcricket007 on January 5, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    @RANDY OZ . THE BEST PLAER OF SPIN ON EARTH . HAHAHA . GOOD JOKE . BUT I WOULD SAY SANGA IS THE BEST PLAYER OF SPIN .

  • popcorn on January 5, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    Brilliant declaration. He has put pressure on India. The game will be over by tomorrow.

  • RoJayao on January 5, 2012, 11:24 GMT

    Nulla, you are, thankfully, part of a dwindling group of Clarke haters out there who just need to GET OVER IT!! You forgot, Australia were three down for thirty odd when he came to the crease so to score a triple ton and give Australia a mega chance to secure another win and an unassailable lead in the series is pretty good for a guy you wouldn't let bat for your life! Also telling for me about the change in the Australian team under Clarke is the complete and utter lack of fuss the Aussies displayed when Clarke himself just missed a very close low chance at slip. There was not even a hint of an appeal or any controversy. As Indian fans are fond of recalling, the same situation four years ago at Sydney, with a different captain presiding (yes I see the irony in Clarke being the same catcher), resulted in much angst and accusations of unsportsmanlike behaviour etc. No matter what happens from here, it feels great to be an Aussie fan again!

  • muski on January 5, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    @Satish619- I agree with you. Clarke comes as somebody who likes to pleases his bosses. He probably would have wanted to give a lesson in action to the man on whose back the monkey of 100 international 100 sits. What he achieved by declaring and not going for Lara's record is hard to understand given the fact that they had more than 2 days to get this Indian Batting line up which in any case does not last more than 60-70 overs. In one way its good that Lara's record is not broken as Clarke is not in the same league to be worthy of breaking that record.

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    well too early to comply with Taylor's observation. Well due credit to michael clarke for his slendid triple hundred & abve all the declaration which surprised many. One bcos clarke knows its a good batting track & will need enough time to bowl indians out. two, he wanted to be remebered alongside taylor his mentor as the latter claims to be.

  • AidanFX on January 5, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    @ satish619chander - Do you know anything about Sydney? Do you live there; I live on the other side of the country - but what I know about Sydney when it rains - IT RAINS - not the irritating drizzle like Hobart/ Melbourne and Eng - but bucketing storms; the sort that ruins a day's play of cricket. There was forecast for rain tomorrow (that may have changed now?). A wise captain factors these things in. As it was the Aussies only took two wickets - but that alone puts them in a much stronger position. In a way despite the mammoth lead there was an aspect of risk in Clarke's declaration (only minimal) - but as it were India after a fast start just occupied the crease and now the bare minimum is a draw - but the two wickets may prove to a be vital. Conservative me said "bat on" - but I like the fact Clarke is aggressive. It's the change post Argus required - no doubt Ponting would have gone on further.

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    A great innings!!!!.

    Aggressive, entertaining and most importantly putting the team before rather going for individual record.

    Congrats Clarke!!!!!!!

  • on January 5, 2012, 9:51 GMT

    In an effort to be seen as a selfless captain doing the best for the team, I reckon he has blown a chance of a lifetime for himself and Australia. The state of the game and such a long time to go in the match lent itself to go for it. Innings like that come only once (twice if you are Brian Lara or The Don). I think no-one would have begrudged him taking a personal milestone (for Australia as well) and I think he would have done it easily. Should have really ground them into the turf - they have done it often enough to us (Shastri, Laxman, Tendulkar et al). Bat till half an hour before stumps - do the job and I reckon they would have been about 2 for 25 at stumps. Great knock though - havent seen balls hit the middle of the bat so consistently for a long time.

  • righthandbat on January 5, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    I'm not sure if declaring was the right decision in terms of the game. I'm sure Australia can comfortably win but I think grinding it out until an hour before the end of play might have ensured real tiredness from the Indian top order and allowed Clarke to set ultra aggressive fields without worrying about saving runs.

    However, in terms of the future of Clarke and his position, he has begun now to create a really positive legacy for his batting and captaincy, and has probably finally created his own special place in test cricket for Australia. A fine knock.

  • jonesy2 on January 5, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    no words. i have no words

  • perl57 on January 5, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    Ha Ha Ha, surprisingly some of the funniest quotes on the planet can be found here. Someone even went on to write "Probably the best player of spin on the planet right now. Hussey a close second." This, once a spoilt brat, was cluelessly bowled many times on spin pitches is being termed better than Sachin, Laxman, Kallis, and million others as the best player of spin bowling. I guess better sentence would be "best Oz to play spin."

  • on January 5, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    @RandyOZ - the same Michael Hussey who has the most test ducks in the world over the last two years?

    Yeah right.....

  • Simoc on January 5, 2012, 9:08 GMT

    Clarke has the noticeable ability to lift a team as did Shane Warne, and Waugh, Border, Ponting never did, as captains. On top of that his supreme batting today showed what a good day out is all about. I'm happy for Lara to keep the record. His doubters have never been cricket lovers. They're mostly self indulgent dummies.

  • on January 5, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    well done pup.,.,keep it up,,make sure to win the series.

  • on January 5, 2012, 9:01 GMT

    Honestly, as a West Indian, I was concerned about Clarke possibly creating a new world record. The way he was batting, anything was possible. I doesn't matter what anyone else might say about the declaration, but I think it was an act of GOD. Anyway, congratulations Michael Clarke on your maiden triple hundred! India must bat for two days to save this match, but I reckon that the match will be over after tea on day 4. It's now or never for Sachin hundred!

  • dsig3 on January 5, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    Well, he has always been a bit flashy as a batsman. He has played some very good and very bad innings lately. I dont care what he does off the field, most Aussies dont its just media hype, but his batting has not always been easy to understand. His captaincy and fielding have never been in question. Hopefully this innings starts a golden run for him like Ponting had when he took the captaincy. He is no Steve Waugh and I wouldnt like him batting for my life, but to score 329 shows he does have concentration, its yet to be seen whether he can apply it consistently.

  • rahulcricket007 on January 5, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    CLARKE IS VERY GOOD BATSMEN BUT I DON'T RATE HIM AMONG THE BEST IN THE WORLD IN THE RANKS OF LARA , SACHIN , PONTING . HE STARTED HIS TEST CAREER IN 2004 & AFTER 8 YEARS HE IS ABLE TO CONVERT SCORES INTO 200 . HIS PREVIOUS HIGHEST TEST SCORE WAS 170 . SO IN THE 8 YEARS CARREER HE DIDN'T EVEN HIT ONE DOUBLE HUNDRED . ALSO AGAINST THIS INDIAN POPGUN ATTACK MANY BATMSNES HIT 200 , 300 RUNS . EXAMPLES KALLIS HITS 200 IN CENTURION TEST LAST YEAR , KP , BELL , COOK HIT AGAINST US IN ENGLAND . ALSO I DON'T KNOW WHY CLARKE DECLARED SO EARLY ? HE SHOULD HAVE PLAYED 15 OR 20 OVERS MORE & SHOULD SCORE 400 . THIS WOULD HAVE TOIL INDIAN TEAM MORE IN THE FIELD . AFTER ALL IT WAS ONLY 3 RD DAY OF MATCH .

  • on January 5, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    WELL SAID mR TAYLOR! very apt observation. He really had a decent chance to give a shot to the world record but he dint. Bcos clarke knows how good the pitch is & want his bowlers to have enough time to go at the famed indian batting line up. I think indian batting should look at this as a signal that the pitch indeed is very true & flat if u look 2 score.But as taylor said Clarke has always aus cricket in mind. that's the reason he skipped IPL. If he continues like this I can see another steven waugh in making ! that's good for cricket bcos v still miss steve waugh. Isn't it?

  • on January 5, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    We should all salute Michael Clarke for his monumental inbeaten 329 and also his casual disregard for individual records.He could've easily attempted for 400+ and there would still be enough time to skittle out India.Indian bowlers must thank their stars that Clarke,Hussey saved them further punishment

  • nulla on January 5, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Yes, great innings but are dressing room traditions being adhered to or does he tweet the team song from his other engagements? Relating to the difference of opinion about him, how can anyone take him seriously when, after splitting from Ms Bingle, he announces in 2010 that no other distraction-family, advertising, commercial or whatever will distract him from the Ashes campaign. In Melbourne he is promptly seen at a breakfast before the toss. He is part of the 1st day debacle. Just gives the impression he wants to be seen in the right places. Also, when the chips are down, has he created that image that you are prepared to let him bat for your life? Like Border did & Waugh & Ponting & the Chappells?

  • shaen on January 5, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    You made a lot of cogent points there Mark, thank you. But I wonder if you appreciate how we intent cricket followers feel sometimes. Clarke is a good example, we only see what happens on tv, not even with Foxtel as well in most cases. Added to that is reams of poor to bad reporting on various media. Zero personal contact. It's very difficult to get a handle on the REAL man from that. I didn't, but I'm learning, and I dips 'me lid to Mr Clarke.

  • RandyOZ on January 5, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Probably the best player of spin on the planet right now. Hussey a close second.

  • SpadeaSpade on January 5, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Tubby is spot on. Personally i think Clarke will be the best Captain we've had since Tubby, both have a similar trait of never letting the game stall and always look 2 or 3 overs ahead of the play. I place alot of credit to warney who put pup under his wing and no doubt would have been a great Australian Captain in his own right, at least tactically anyway hahaha

  • Mayan820 on January 5, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Well done to Michael Clarke on his 300+ runs, but because I am an Indian supporter (after the Proteas) I just want to congratulate G. Gambhir for surviving day 3. Well done Gautie! After all the terrible things that was said about your ability, you showed everyone today. You had a life or two today, so what . . . Kallis was given a life on 0 at Newlands 2 days ago and again 2 more when he was at 150+ runs and he ended up with 224. You can do it as well . . . Why not? First get your century and then go really big and save this mach for India with S. Tendulkar.

  • on January 5, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Well done Michael Clarke!! The cricket world should definitely watch out for this man!!

  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    I would rather say Clarke wasted the chance to get on top.. He did have enough time to bowl out India and his declaration was pretty much premature honestly.. Apart from giving him the name "Selfless captaincy", the declaration wouldn't serve any purpose.. He could have played some 20 overs and given his touch while batting and Indian attack, he could well have scored the 72 runs.. And, still they could ve got the couple of wickets..

  • Captain_Crick on January 5, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Nice to see a delightful triple century from a 27/3 odd pressure situation. And the rate (70% strike rate) at which it was scored has virtually sealed the series. Hats off!

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  • Captain_Crick on January 5, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Nice to see a delightful triple century from a 27/3 odd pressure situation. And the rate (70% strike rate) at which it was scored has virtually sealed the series. Hats off!

  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 7:32 GMT

    I would rather say Clarke wasted the chance to get on top.. He did have enough time to bowl out India and his declaration was pretty much premature honestly.. Apart from giving him the name "Selfless captaincy", the declaration wouldn't serve any purpose.. He could have played some 20 overs and given his touch while batting and Indian attack, he could well have scored the 72 runs.. And, still they could ve got the couple of wickets..

  • on January 5, 2012, 7:39 GMT

    Well done Michael Clarke!! The cricket world should definitely watch out for this man!!

  • Mayan820 on January 5, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Well done to Michael Clarke on his 300+ runs, but because I am an Indian supporter (after the Proteas) I just want to congratulate G. Gambhir for surviving day 3. Well done Gautie! After all the terrible things that was said about your ability, you showed everyone today. You had a life or two today, so what . . . Kallis was given a life on 0 at Newlands 2 days ago and again 2 more when he was at 150+ runs and he ended up with 224. You can do it as well . . . Why not? First get your century and then go really big and save this mach for India with S. Tendulkar.

  • SpadeaSpade on January 5, 2012, 8:03 GMT

    Tubby is spot on. Personally i think Clarke will be the best Captain we've had since Tubby, both have a similar trait of never letting the game stall and always look 2 or 3 overs ahead of the play. I place alot of credit to warney who put pup under his wing and no doubt would have been a great Australian Captain in his own right, at least tactically anyway hahaha

  • RandyOZ on January 5, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Probably the best player of spin on the planet right now. Hussey a close second.

  • shaen on January 5, 2012, 8:07 GMT

    You made a lot of cogent points there Mark, thank you. But I wonder if you appreciate how we intent cricket followers feel sometimes. Clarke is a good example, we only see what happens on tv, not even with Foxtel as well in most cases. Added to that is reams of poor to bad reporting on various media. Zero personal contact. It's very difficult to get a handle on the REAL man from that. I didn't, but I'm learning, and I dips 'me lid to Mr Clarke.

  • nulla on January 5, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    Yes, great innings but are dressing room traditions being adhered to or does he tweet the team song from his other engagements? Relating to the difference of opinion about him, how can anyone take him seriously when, after splitting from Ms Bingle, he announces in 2010 that no other distraction-family, advertising, commercial or whatever will distract him from the Ashes campaign. In Melbourne he is promptly seen at a breakfast before the toss. He is part of the 1st day debacle. Just gives the impression he wants to be seen in the right places. Also, when the chips are down, has he created that image that you are prepared to let him bat for your life? Like Border did & Waugh & Ponting & the Chappells?

  • on January 5, 2012, 8:15 GMT

    We should all salute Michael Clarke for his monumental inbeaten 329 and also his casual disregard for individual records.He could've easily attempted for 400+ and there would still be enough time to skittle out India.Indian bowlers must thank their stars that Clarke,Hussey saved them further punishment

  • on January 5, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    WELL SAID mR TAYLOR! very apt observation. He really had a decent chance to give a shot to the world record but he dint. Bcos clarke knows how good the pitch is & want his bowlers to have enough time to go at the famed indian batting line up. I think indian batting should look at this as a signal that the pitch indeed is very true & flat if u look 2 score.But as taylor said Clarke has always aus cricket in mind. that's the reason he skipped IPL. If he continues like this I can see another steven waugh in making ! that's good for cricket bcos v still miss steve waugh. Isn't it?