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

'It is about putting the team first' - Michael Clarke

203

Where others saw records or dollar signs, Michael Clarke could only surmise Australia's chances of victory. In declaring on 329 not out after a stand of 334 with Michael Hussey, Clarke gave his side half the match to round up India a second time, and had taken two choice wickets in the form of Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid before the close.

Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements, Clarke's decision drew plenty of post-play questions about why he had not gone on in pursuit of Brian Lara's 400, or even surpassed Don Bradman and Mark Taylor only five runs further on from his tally. But Clarke was adamant that the pursuit of the win came first.

"I didn't think about it at all, I didn't have Don Bradman or Mark Taylor's score in my head whatsoever," Clarke said. "It was about trying to get the team to a number, a total I thought would be a good score to make a declaration, then have a crack this afternoon to get a couple of wickets.

"I think it is about putting the team first, that's why we play. What I love most about this game is seeing this team win. I've always been like that as a player and I'll be no different as a captain. If it was best for the team to continue batting I would have continued to bat."

While he stopped short of such records, Clarke could be content with the highest Test score ever made at the SCG, surpassing RE Foster's 287 for England more than a century ago. He said the magnitude of his innings would not sink in until the match ended, preferably in victory for his side.

"I don't think it'll sink in properly until we win the Test match," Clarke said. "That's why we play, that was my goal walking out there today. Don't get me wrong, I'm stoked that I've managed to make 300-odd runs in this Test match, but the most important thing for me now is we win the Test.

"That was a big part of the reason for my declaration. I spoke to Huss just before we declared and I really wanted him to make 150, he deserved it, and once he got that I thought now we have a 450-run lead, it is a good time to pull up stumps and try to get a couple of wickets tonight.

"I didn't expect to score 300 in one innings, so the fact I've done that I'm stoked, and [as for] all the other records, I'm happy where I sit to be honest."

Clarke said the most testing aspect of his innings was simply to sustain his energy and concentration over nearly two days of batting. His previous first-class best of 201 not out for New South Wales had receded a long way into the distance by the time he had finished.

"Batting the amount of time for me [was the toughest thing]. I've never batted that long in any form of the game in any team in my career," he said. "Physically I felt pretty good, when I came to the ground I felt pretty fresh, and my body felt in a pretty good position. It's just the mental application and concentration that you need to have."

Clarke's application has if anything been enhanced by the captaincy, and he is now doing great things in the role to earn the respect of his team and the Australian public. The former captain Mark Taylor has said vice-captaincy can be difficult when the leader is a figure a legendary as Allan Border or Ricky Ponting, but Clarke said he had appreciated the apprenticeship, too.

"I've said it a million times and I'll say it again, it's about respect, continuing to earn the public's respect and that's all I've ever wanted," he said. "People are going to dislike me, that's life, the way it is, but the most important thing for me, especially being the Australian captain now, you want your home fans to respect you, so that's all I've ever asked for.

"I enjoyed the vice-captaincy a lot. I thought it was fantastic to sit underneath Ricky and learn as much as I could from him, learn about leadership, learn about captaincy, learn about what it takes off the field to captain Australia. That probably opened my eyes to leadership more than anything else.

"And I've enjoyed this challenge. It's an honour and privilege to captain Australia, there's a lot that goes with it, but I'm enjoying it at the moment. The team having some success obviously makes life a lot easier. We've got a lot of talent out there so that makes my job a lot easier as well."

Hussey's own 150 was put in the shade by Clarke, much as anyone who batted any length of time with Don Bradman had been. But he said he had simply enjoyed the chance to bat alongside Clarke for 334 runs, and to witness the SCG's highest individual tally from the other end.

"I don't really mind [being overshadowed]. I said to Pup out in the middle I was honoured and privileged to witness and be a part of that," Hussey said. "It was a fantastic innings and one I'll remember for a long time, I'm sure Pup will as well, and one that got our team into a very strong position in the Test match, that's what I'll remember about it."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dismayed on January 7, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Lets hope Haddin and Ponting are thinking of the team and retire at the end of the series. We can then let the young group grow together.

  • WeeBee on January 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    As expected! ... There is a history about INDIA , Why can't their world class batsman play outside the country. I remember KAPIL DEV once said, " If any bastman in the world is not scoring , just bring him to INDIA , he will score centuries" .. So Indian batsman can score only in INDIA cause of the picthes. What is wrong with Tendulkar and Sehwag ... Sehwag is in FORM after his world record .. and Tendulkar is after his 100th 100 .... Anyway .. lets see how 3rd test proceeds.

  • zenboomerang on January 7, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    I wonder whether it will be Haddin or the selectors that put team before the individual... Poor catching, leaking byes regularly, can't bat to save the team let alone for himself... Time for Wade/Neville to be given a chance in the dead rubber in Adelaide... Haddin can be the ODI specialist...

  • zenboomerang on January 7, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Clarke has already created history for himself... ... Name any player in the history of Test Cricket who was both captain, batting over 300 not out, declared & won... Michael Clarke... Says a lot about the Aussie attitude to 'team' & not 'me'...

  • Goviro on January 6, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Anyone that says this was not a gem of an innings or anyone that bags Michael Clarke clearly does not have a clue about the mental application and physical prowess required. He batted for over ten hours, accumulated 329 runs, and looked comfortable in doing so. He made a decision to declare at that stage because he thought that would benefit the team, which it obviously did. He was bang on the money throughout the test, did not put a foot wrong, has commanded respected, and he deserves all the accolades that has has and will receive. It's great to see the Australians back in form with the bat, and their quicks are putting heat on anyone who walks out to the middle. Australia's climb back to the top is underway, and Michael Clarke is at the forefront, showing the way for the youth.

  • Harmony111 on January 6, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    @Meety/Chris_p:

    You two are caught in your own words now. If the idea was to have plenty of time to get the 10 Ind wickets, then why wait for Hussey's 150? What kind of maths is this? Btw, Chris_p, I am sure at least you have never played competitive cricket either and even if you have it still does not mean that your thinking process would be better than those who have not. And oh, I have played the game at the Univ and district level - I could still play but for my job. The level may not be very high but I anyways have "some" idea about the game, mainly because of my passion and not necessarily because of my playing. Anyways, we are not here to ask each other for the credentials, are we? I respect your opinion - you can think the way you want to but pls don't have that tone for others. MC may very well be a selfless player but his act alone is not the yardstick to judge others. Why bring Indian players in this? That dissing is uncalled for. Hope you two understand and agree.

  • JG2704 on January 6, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    @Karthik Raja on (January 06 2012, 09:14 AM GMT) - Can't you ever say anything complimentary about your opponents or make any constructive criticism on your own team or was it the Oz media's fault that India's batsmen were all out for less than 200 in the 1st inns and neither VVS,ST or GG could convert there scores into big 100s or the Indian bowlers after having a shaky looking (in the last 2 tests) batting line up 37-3 and only taking 1 more wicket for the next 622 runs. For a change , why not either blame your own batsmen/bowlers for not being up to the job or congratulate the Australian batsmen/bowlers for performing so well?

  • Urajapakse on January 6, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Great Micheal,

    You showed the whole world yesterday that the game of cricket still got few 'selfless individuals' who put the country & the team first before self.

    We as Sri Lankans greatly respect that. I am sure that world cricket will be better with great cricketers like you. I was a huge fan of Brian Lara. But now, I respect you more than that.

    Keep the spirit going.

  • burleighboy86 on January 6, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Has made a step up since getting Captaincy. Watch his average shoot up over 50 in quick time.

  • gilly_danda on January 6, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    a school boy can score hundred against Indian bowling, Australian fast bowlers won the match for their team.

  • Dismayed on January 7, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    Lets hope Haddin and Ponting are thinking of the team and retire at the end of the series. We can then let the young group grow together.

  • WeeBee on January 7, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    As expected! ... There is a history about INDIA , Why can't their world class batsman play outside the country. I remember KAPIL DEV once said, " If any bastman in the world is not scoring , just bring him to INDIA , he will score centuries" .. So Indian batsman can score only in INDIA cause of the picthes. What is wrong with Tendulkar and Sehwag ... Sehwag is in FORM after his world record .. and Tendulkar is after his 100th 100 .... Anyway .. lets see how 3rd test proceeds.

  • zenboomerang on January 7, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    I wonder whether it will be Haddin or the selectors that put team before the individual... Poor catching, leaking byes regularly, can't bat to save the team let alone for himself... Time for Wade/Neville to be given a chance in the dead rubber in Adelaide... Haddin can be the ODI specialist...

  • zenboomerang on January 7, 2012, 6:03 GMT

    Clarke has already created history for himself... ... Name any player in the history of Test Cricket who was both captain, batting over 300 not out, declared & won... Michael Clarke... Says a lot about the Aussie attitude to 'team' & not 'me'...

  • Goviro on January 6, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    Anyone that says this was not a gem of an innings or anyone that bags Michael Clarke clearly does not have a clue about the mental application and physical prowess required. He batted for over ten hours, accumulated 329 runs, and looked comfortable in doing so. He made a decision to declare at that stage because he thought that would benefit the team, which it obviously did. He was bang on the money throughout the test, did not put a foot wrong, has commanded respected, and he deserves all the accolades that has has and will receive. It's great to see the Australians back in form with the bat, and their quicks are putting heat on anyone who walks out to the middle. Australia's climb back to the top is underway, and Michael Clarke is at the forefront, showing the way for the youth.

  • Harmony111 on January 6, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    @Meety/Chris_p:

    You two are caught in your own words now. If the idea was to have plenty of time to get the 10 Ind wickets, then why wait for Hussey's 150? What kind of maths is this? Btw, Chris_p, I am sure at least you have never played competitive cricket either and even if you have it still does not mean that your thinking process would be better than those who have not. And oh, I have played the game at the Univ and district level - I could still play but for my job. The level may not be very high but I anyways have "some" idea about the game, mainly because of my passion and not necessarily because of my playing. Anyways, we are not here to ask each other for the credentials, are we? I respect your opinion - you can think the way you want to but pls don't have that tone for others. MC may very well be a selfless player but his act alone is not the yardstick to judge others. Why bring Indian players in this? That dissing is uncalled for. Hope you two understand and agree.

  • JG2704 on January 6, 2012, 18:17 GMT

    @Karthik Raja on (January 06 2012, 09:14 AM GMT) - Can't you ever say anything complimentary about your opponents or make any constructive criticism on your own team or was it the Oz media's fault that India's batsmen were all out for less than 200 in the 1st inns and neither VVS,ST or GG could convert there scores into big 100s or the Indian bowlers after having a shaky looking (in the last 2 tests) batting line up 37-3 and only taking 1 more wicket for the next 622 runs. For a change , why not either blame your own batsmen/bowlers for not being up to the job or congratulate the Australian batsmen/bowlers for performing so well?

  • Urajapakse on January 6, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Great Micheal,

    You showed the whole world yesterday that the game of cricket still got few 'selfless individuals' who put the country & the team first before self.

    We as Sri Lankans greatly respect that. I am sure that world cricket will be better with great cricketers like you. I was a huge fan of Brian Lara. But now, I respect you more than that.

    Keep the spirit going.

  • burleighboy86 on January 6, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Has made a step up since getting Captaincy. Watch his average shoot up over 50 in quick time.

  • gilly_danda on January 6, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    a school boy can score hundred against Indian bowling, Australian fast bowlers won the match for their team.

  • on January 6, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    And reg author's remark on record obsession, frm wt I heard lately.. Its Aus media who r making huge noise over SRT's landmark hundred now.. may b SRT has now become Aussie's brand product to sell their News.. It is evident frm Ian's comment - "SCG's treasurer wud b praying for SRT to remain Notout(by end of 3rd day), to prevent the dip in ticket sales for 4th day.." Double standard frm Aus media..

  • on January 6, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    As expected there r many comments against SRT and noting his 194* against Pak.. While I appreciate Clarke's decision as a captain, I wud say he played safe game here.. And he was not on 394* mind it guys to say "he put team first" He has to still get 70 odd runs.. If team comes first, he shud hv declared whn he was on 290s.. he shudnt hv waited for Hussey's 150.. Many ppl think that 334 is a Aus record.. its not.. 380 by Hayden.. Reg SRT, many ppl seems to talk abt 194*, bt conveniently forgets his previous Innings.. its 241*.. Bt, still happy to walkaway whn his captain declared.. definitely 300 s better milestone than 200.. rite.?? And he need 12 less runs thn wt Clarke needed sterday.. If clarke can do that in 1 hour, definitely SRT wud also hv done that.. guyz, talk on facts.. Not on ur assumptions..

  • Sagay-Ed on January 6, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    Since he has declared on 329* everybody is speaking about "Putting team first". If he has gone for it and scored a 401*, then everybody would have commented "Awesome Batting... Highest score in the test history by any batsmen... May not be broken for another 10 years or nobody is born to break yet" ... he he...

    Either way it could have been justified I dont know why ppl are unnecessarily saying sub-continent players have obession towards records... Do you find any sub-continent fans writing anything wrong about Clarke here? We do agree that Clarke has played a GOOD KNOCK to take his team to victory in ONE test match in AUSTRALIAN (HOME) soil. FACT!!!

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements" - A real ugly comment on Indian fans.

  • AidanFX on January 6, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    SL have the world Test record ... 900 something ... meh do I care?- Incidentally they did not win the match - merely drew. What's it worth?

  • agrawal.nishant on January 6, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    I've read quite a few comments and some people are talking about Clarke being stupid to declare so early when he had half the match yet to be played. Thinking about it, India did get out with more than an entire day's play left. But, what most people writing here have forgotten to take into consideration is that it also gives his team an entire extra day's rest. Many now would say that even if he would have batted, the team would be at rest as only two people are at the pitch, but there is always a mental stress and fatigue which is involved and which does not end till the match is over. So now, the entire team has an extra day to not only physically rest but also mentally prepare for the next. All the same, we should not forget that it also gives a psychological blow to the losing team to know that they lost not only by an entire innings and more, but also with more than an entire day's play left. As such, Clarke did do an excellent job if you see from the view point of a winning team

  • MichaelBevan on January 6, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Got to be said - who cares about the record!? If he made 401* would it mean he is better than Lara? Nope. If he beat Taylor's score of 334* would it mean he was better than Taylor? Purely on that fact, no (although I do think he's better than Taylor or will be at the end of his career). And it certainly wouldn't mean he was better than Bradman... Bradman is without a doubt the best Batsman the world has ever seen and possibly ever will see. Point is, records don't mean a whole lot in the scheme of things. You've got your head in the right place Clarkey, and unlike a lot of fans on here, including Aussie's (I'm making an assumption here based on people I've talked to, mates and people I know), I've always thought you were a legend and a rock solid player. I'm glad now though that a lot of people who thought you were no good will finally pay their respects. Now bring on the Perth Test!!!

  • Baundele on January 6, 2012, 7:28 GMT

    As expected India could not survive one full day, let alone two and a half days. Clarke should have had more confidence in his bowlers. Chicken heart!

  • on January 6, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Michael Clark has made a great statement which I highly appreciate. But this does not mean we should bash Sachin.

    Don't u think Sachin's ton will help India? (Very odd but) At the moment you can say that Sachin is not going for personal goal thats why he is not making 100th ton. The main problem for India is that NO ONE ELSE is scoring.

    Btw I am a Pakistani fan

  • on January 6, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    All said & done, the decision was foolish. While he has indeed gained a lot of respect by putting team spirit on the front, he should also have known that there were 8 sessions of play left for Aussies to win and it was very easy. Now he should realize that his decision to declare was a mistake, since the match is over in 4 days!

  • ihaq1 on January 6, 2012, 6:54 GMT

    i think Clarke is a bit frightened otherwise he could have put in india for a second time with a lead of 300...he could have gone for a few more records but i doubt he could have scored 400 since there was so much time left in teh match...one and a half days...teh crowd would have enjoyed it..india played a bit normally on a dead pitch with the obvious haddin dropped catches and a supposedly relaxed aussie side with players who hadnt scored for ages coming good...showing the paucity of indian brains and bowling resources...many wondered if harbhajan's experience would have been preferable to ashwins batting ability...or if india should play two spinners when their fast bowlers improving but still feeling the loss of parveen kumar whose swing and seam is considered quite unplayable...maybe ishant should try to copy parveen since he does not seem tobe a real fast bowler...and uppal should bowl straighter...Dhoni needs more brains to play australia...

  • venbas on January 6, 2012, 6:51 GMT

    Thanks Clarkey for the declaration. I was half expecting Aussies to bat out the day and score as close to a Thousand runs and still rout THIS Indian team. That would have been the ultimate humiliation!!!

    This Indian team is like the Emperor without his clothes and has now been squarely nailed by England and now Australia. The Aura of the greats has already gone down the drain since the ENGLAND series. The junior members fed on a heavy overdose of IPL are no hopers on the International stage. This Australian team was frankly nothing compared to the great teams of old and the manner of capitulation hurts.

  • on January 6, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I don't think clark has done anything good, as to even a kid knows Indian team was not even gonna finish the fourth day, it was a simialar decission taken by Inzi when Pak. needed 20 or so runs to win and he walked off to leave for another day.no sense of wisdom.the only logic behind I can find was Indians were very tired with most of the players age in late thirties.And were hardly moving.

  • on January 6, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    I don't think clark has done anything good, as to even a kid knows Indian team was not even gonna finish the fourth day, it was a simialar decission taken by Inzi when Pak. needed 20 or so runs to win and he walked off to leave for another day.no sense of wisdom.the only logic behind I can find was Indians were very tired with most of the players age in late thirties.And were hardly moving.

  • Meety on January 6, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    India's bowling line up for the next test should be Kholi, Ashwin, Sehwag & Tendulkar. Then they could fit 3 batsmen into their top 6! LOL! == == == By all accounts, we will have a fast & bouncy WACA pitch - something we haven' really seen in a few years now! I think Lyon will make way for Harris, & I wonder if Haddin will retire or be pushed?

  • gilly_danda on January 6, 2012, 6:16 GMT

    if some one play for the team why they are so happy when they get hundred and triple hundred and jumps in the air , and why Ponting is in so tense when he was getting century? one more thing is that Australians are able to score same runs against their bowling attack or SA or ENG ? one thing is sure that Indians never going to produce good fast bowlers and athletes like other teams, the reason is simple that controlled religious thinking when following any religion. even some Indian Catholics don't eat meat on Christmas.

  • shahab2058 on January 6, 2012, 6:10 GMT

    @Pushpendra Nandi

    I wonder how in this world you can analyze Clarke like this...... Have you observed anywhere in his chanceless 329* that he felt shaky or something .... bowling attack was looking like piece of cake to him and his strike rate well justify it. He dint go for 400 just because of rain prediction on fourth day and if that would have happened then India might had a good chance to draw this match. Hats Off to Clarke - Respect from Pakistan

  • on January 6, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    Michael Clarke is a great leader. Instead of chasing the world record of Brian Lara, he had chosen the winning path and went 2-0 up in the series. Hat off to Aussie Skipper.

  • donda on January 6, 2012, 5:52 GMT

    Clarke has just shown the world how good a player he is. Respect is extremely hard to earn and he is looking for respect from his country men. After his declaration , i am starting to give respect to Clarke now. Lara 400 was made in draw test match but if you want to win you need to put team first and record later.

    Clarke you did the most unselfish act in cricket , i felt for once that cricket is game of gentlemen who go to play for win. Awesome and Salute to Clarke for declaration.

  • on January 6, 2012, 5:51 GMT

    I think now its time for Laxman, Tendulker and all these oldies to give chances to new bloods.What Sachin wants his personal Records or teams Success..Its time For indian Board to think over Dhoni's Defensive captaincy.and i dont feel sehwag should be given more chances at test level...he plays 1 big innings after several failure..India need consistent performer specially out side sub-continent. I thing guys like Wasim Jaffer or other performer who knows the art to stay at wicket must be given chance... I think India has really improve in Fast bowling department but they are not consistant in selection..Where is munaf, RP,Shree Shanth??? Why Yadav in crucial Series...

  • The_Widower on January 6, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    Putting the team first eh? Facing 2 more balls (ONE even) he could have achieved the Australian test innings record. To not do so was ludicrous. The declaration time was not critical down to 2 balls. It was such a blatant attempt to create this image of a "team player", and the amazing thing is that you all fall for it! The absurd declaration shows to me that he is a phony guy - and I didn't even have any suspicions about him being selfish!

  • Kashi0127 on January 6, 2012, 5:43 GMT

    @Aniket Chiniwalla : I am from India and have been watching cricket since Bill Lawry team toured India way back. When Ian Chappel, Paul Sheahan, Doug Walters played for Australia. When GR Vishwanath and Pataudi played for India including that classic innings by GRV on debut. I watched cricket before Gavaskar came on scene. I saw the days when Gavaskar was questioned for continuing to play even after his 10000 runs in Tests. So I know a thing or two about cricket. Yes absolutely Sachin should retire not because I do not want to see his 100th 100. The obsession with records is killing the game and we need to look beyond 35+ olds ...

  • RasCric on January 6, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Q: Who took 4 wickets in SCG Test in 2012? A: India. :D

  • salman_ak on January 6, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    it was a great innings by Clarke. I don't understand why is every one calling him selfish, guys he is the top Indian scorer on this tour. lets get this straight this was the only pitch resembling to Indian conditions we all know that Perth and Adelaide are going to be different. Indians are looking down the barrel at 4-0 whitewash so if India are to perform better, the batsmen have to score hundreds or more its as simple as that. For me Dravid should be opening and Sehwag should come down the order before Dhoni.

  • RasCric on January 6, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    Here is the reality, Australia absolutely hammered everyone when it had great players. Even after their retirements, it is still doing well. Indian team, despite having all those so called ledgends, has already gone bananas. 3 years from now and you will be fighting with bangladesh and zimbabwe for 8th,9th ranking.

  • 777aditya on January 6, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    right said Clarke! but against a team which can bat for 2 full days (180) - no team has done that in the recent past, fewer in the fourth innings, and none after conceding a 468 runs lead - so Clarke should definitely have gone ahead to try and break Lara's record - once in a lifetime opportunity gone begging!

    India are all out for 400, probably their 2nd highest score in the last 17 innings, 3rd past 300 (obviously Team India tried as hard as it could), but still there were more than 100 overs remaining in the match - so Clarke should have taken a crack at that record, period!

  • Wize1 on January 6, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    There's no doubt Aussies always play that way. Also, there's no doubt in my mind, this would NEVER have happened in our Indian team. Secondly, the stadium big screen would show all the record makers, and the cap'n sending 12th man out to send the message to get to the record quickly and then declare.

    And this is why our team will never get the respect of other cricket teams even, let alone fans like me.

  • FoollyFedUp on January 6, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Please don't take the sheen of Clarke's selfless and remarkable efforts by dragging other so-called 'legends' of the game. I pity those knowledgeable Indian fans, who must be wincing everytime some one screams, 'SRT is India' and other such stuff. You must also understand that it is NOT India's winning that keeps the turnstiles moving, but the prospect of SRT's 100th 100. This is a great pity for this glorious game.

  • lebigfella on January 6, 2012, 4:48 GMT

    Clarke has done a few things here... and very cleverly too. He has put the team first but could've easily beaten a few records to no detriment to the team. Thus he has improved his image and bolstered his relationship with the Aussie press & public. If a record can be broken and it is not to the detriment to the result then an attempt must be made to break it... why have records?! And yes, there have been many cases where batsman get upset when reaching a personal milestone and the captain declares, Hick, Tendulkar etc etc but the captain takes the flack for everything. If a player spends an eternity mustering the last few runs reaching eg a ton and subsequently wastes valuable bowling time the captain MUST intervene. The buck stops with the captain... no one else!!! Clarke did very very well... on so many counts

  • on January 6, 2012, 4:47 GMT

    people who say lara was selfish should remember that after declaring on 400* west indies were left with around 137 overs to get england out , it was their bowlers inability to get through eng on a 5th day pitch

    and as for clark's case , he is stupid and not unselfish since india is going to b bowled out with a day to spare.

    and for a matter of fact .. there were still 70 runs to go .. which is a long way because we have seen players come close but unable to get those last 100 runs which speaks volumes about the greatness of brian charles lara !

  • anuj_agarwal on January 6, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    Respect.... that's all he deserver..

  • dmqi on January 6, 2012, 4:40 GMT

    Australian Captain allowed Hussy to score 150 runs but Imran Khan did not allow Miandad to score 20 runs for his triple century, 280 not out. Imran later justified that time was important to win the match which I still do not buy. Dravid declared when Tendulkar was at 194. This is difference between Auatralian team vs subcontinent teams in terms of players' relationship.

  • dmqi on January 6, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    Very rare indeed that he did not bat few more overs to score 350 to pass quite a few triple century scores and definitely become highest scorer among Australians. I am not sure if he really did not think that 334 being highest australian score. I think he knows that Bradman is too big a name to surpass for him or for anyone, very smart Clark. You earned many's respect. What a knock!

  • saqskhan on January 6, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    @ ranjeetc...There are many others who believe SRT plays for himself and not for the nation, whenever IND needed him to play the big innings he failed, not only once but many a times, if at all he win a single match for Ind, that is remembered by all saying that he played such innings once in a while, great players dont play only once in a while, you have to won the match for the team instead of playing for the records..now he is playing for his 100th ton and not only this but also if he can make so many runs so that no one gets close to him..there are few others like Kallis, Ponting and Dravid but he wants himself to be remembered as a great player and not other..a selfish one.

  • Night-Watchman on January 6, 2012, 3:36 GMT

    There was a rain forecast for the next few days and Clarke was correct in declaring when the total was "safe" enough to ensure that Australia will not have to bat again. Yes, there were close to 240 overs left in the match, however a good thunder storm can soon bring that down to 150 before you realise it.

  • on January 6, 2012, 3:16 GMT

    Yes, he score runs. Had helped India winning few matches. But cannot save 4-0 loss to england and likely another 4-0 loss in austrialia. indian tradition- groom players and let them play for 10-15 years. this is right from day of sunny. team dont changes was years. even of bad performances. and couple of good perfomance seals the place in the team for years. then many matches dont perform let team loose. one performance and then many failures. but place is always fixed. the same strategy is not seen in england, south africa, england, west indies, pakistan. now gambhir performance has sealed a place for next few matches more. because he showed he can bat with 83. our team perfomance is more aligned towards 1 day

  • slakkoju on January 6, 2012, 3:08 GMT

    that is where i like aus/eng/sa players, they put team first, unlike our sub-continent (rather continent) players.

  • Chris_P on January 6, 2012, 2:30 GMT

    @harmony111. Have you ever played a competitive game of cricket? What sort of a question is that about Hayden? First of all, just for you, let me explain the obvious. Evryone on the planet is different with different views, ergo they would all post like you (heaven forbid). Secondly, Hayden scroed his runs at an infinitely faster rate than Clarke with plenty of time available with the top class bowling attack Australia had at that time. And lastly, despite what has been posted by many Indian fans, this Indian batting line-up is far superior to the one on show from Zimbabwe hence the need for a much longer period of time to dismiss them. Does that make sense? Give yourself some more time with thought before posting inane statements such as that.

  • on January 6, 2012, 1:07 GMT

    There is definitely a need for more specific stats linking performance of an indiidual to the performance of his team,as in basketball, baseball etc. Would at least render moot a lot of the comments made here thus far re Clarke and Sachin. For my money, Clarke made the right decision for his team, he should not get any extra kudos for his selflessness - isn't that the essence of being part of a team????????

  • on January 6, 2012, 0:59 GMT

    This is not something to do with putting the team/country first, but just the foolishness of him. Ohhh it is ridiculous to declare at that stage (on account of the fame) when more than 2days to go for 10 Indian wickets. I really believe he could have gone for the record. This wouldn't have damaged the victory. He is quite weak in taking so called calculated risks.

  • NikhilNair on January 6, 2012, 0:33 GMT

    All I can say is... WELL DONE CLARKE! Though I am an Indian fan, his innings was truly fantastic and a well deserved one. Though our bowlers lacked the intensity quite a few times, Clarke, Ponting and Hussey exploited the conditions very well. Let's hope Sachin and Laxman, who is at the crease now, will go on to get a big score as well and save the game for us :)

  • dms1972 on January 6, 2012, 0:13 GMT

    To all those who are either illiterate or have blatantly ignored the fact that I have repeatedly said Tendulkar is one of the all-time greats, my argument is not with those who believe Tendulkar is a great, it's with those who think Ponting isn't. They use double standards when comparing Tendulkar to Ponting, & use illogical arguments like, "he never faced Warne & McGrath", "he had great players around him making him look better than he actually was" & "he played well in the 2000's when the bowling was poor", yet don't apply these same ludicrous standards to Tendulkar. Their only valid claim to disregard Ponting's status as a legend is his record in India, & this poor record is basically due to one man, Harbhajan. But this isn't enough to disregard him as a legend because, as I, & many others, have pointed out before, there are many valid reasons why you could disregard Tendulkar's status as a legend. Simple fact is, they are both legends, and anyone who denies it, doesn't know cricket

  • Meety on January 6, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    @Harmony111 - Hayden wasn't captain & was flogging the bowlers & hence was not "wasting time". The way India were in the field - Clarke probably could of scored 500, but due to the respect Oz has for the quality of India's batting, Clarke wants 2+ daysbowl them out!

  • CanTHeeRava on January 5, 2012, 23:05 GMT

    @ all tendulkar critics...I can't see anything more than jelousy in all of you...He is one of the greatest ever and most of you cannot stand that fact because he does not allow other players to come even close. I will not berate other players like all of you have done with your unnecessary comments. Tendulkar fans are expected to be more dignified than most people. Those of you who are craving for team players do not understand cricket. I agree that the 100th hundred (although it is meaningless) is weighing heavily on Tendulkar. You should remember that he is not the only batsman who has to bat for India. He has carried the mantle for 15 years (leaving first 6 years where he was still the junior in the team) and he is still the best in the business. He is no god but he is close enough. In the same breath I commend Michael Clarke for his decision to declare when he did. If India had not bowled okay on the 3rd day morning session, he would have scored 400 anyway.

  • Lmaotsetung on January 5, 2012, 23:03 GMT

    @ Amit Agarwal on (January 05 2012, 10:37 AM GMT) - "Yeah okay. How odd that the 150 is something worth pushing back the declaration, but at the same time he says team first. Whatever. He needs to get his story straight." - the 150 is for Hussey. Clarke prob. believe that with Hussey getting to 150 will do him a world of good to his confidence going forward so yeah he was thinking about the team. Same to what Strauss did for Ian Bell earlier vs SL @ Cardiff and we know how that match turned out. In fact Straussy said he thought the team would come out with more energy after Bell's century and he was correct, they bowled out SL for a miracle win. So YEAH, Clarke was putting team first and you are just nitpicking.

  • chishtyirfan on January 5, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    great inning & great thoughts. about Australia I think they second tier of bowling because of first choice are injured. about India I think this is the best & complete team I have seen in last few years. best batsman best bowlers best fielders. what else you need from a team. but I am missing one thing about the team India " SPIRIT" for the game for the country. the lack of "SPIRIT" the team in mess. let take what the top 5 or 6 player has in their mind. 1. Shewag always positive and over confident. 2. Dravid why should I have to put extra effort, place is already safe of last year performance. 3. Tendulker just one more hundred, I am greatest. 4. Zaheer take 3 or 4 wicket job is done for rest of the game. 5. Laxman & Ghambhir fighting for form.

  • mixters on January 5, 2012, 22:47 GMT

    Yes yes yes every one knows SRT always puts the team first. Like the IPLgame he faces the last balkl and bunts a single to get to HIS CENTUARY. We all know bunting a single is the team thing to do of the last ball right. As for the Silly statment by some Indian fan that Indian cricket would have disappeared if SRT had not made runs what a joke Indian cricket is bigger than Tendulker always was always will be dont disrespect your nations cricketers to try and promote SRT that just confirms the point that he is for himself and not the team

  • ranjeetc on January 5, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    Giving credit where its due, Clarke deserves respect. But please please please people, especially the pakistanis who have to comment and say everything against Sachin Tendulkar, cricketers don't just make 99 centuries by putting themselves first. Every team's dynamics are different, player strengths and combinations are different. Its sad to see Tendulkar always has a lose-lose situation when it comes to some fans ! Last I remember we won the ODI world cup with his contributions, but wait that was because it was on sub continental pitches. Why don't you guys just admire Clarke's efforts and stop criticizing legends !!!

  • on January 5, 2012, 22:30 GMT

    For sure, Clarke doesn't chase after records; they let teams create records against them. Just think back to Newlands 2011.

  • on January 5, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    @Sagay-Ed : I can't quite agree with you on the point that Sachin cares only about winning. Sachin was quite upset with Dravid (he was captaining in the absence of Ganguly) when he declared the innings with Sachin on 194 against Pakistan at Multan (in 2004 i guess). Eventually India won in 4 days and Dravid had to face a lot of criticism. You can find many news articles on this. Dravid had to admit in public that the declaration was ill timed. I watched this match & I felt Dravid did the right thing as Sachin was batting really slow. I am a big admirer of Sachin, but cant agree that he is not obsessed with numbers.

  • Harmony111 on January 5, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    Whoa, so does this mean that Mathhew Hayden was selfish when he scored his 380 (against Zim btw at home)??? And why wasn't the innings declared when he had gone past Lara's 375? Obviously he was going for 400 but got out. Problem with this kind of "Putting The Team First" noise is that it suddenly makes all the other prev players look selfish which is not the case. Let it be known to the author and to the other Oz fans who are so gaga over this act of Clark, the only adjective one should use for Clark not going on is STUPID. It is like someone reaqching the final question of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, knowing the answer (presumably) and still quitting cos he thinks "Money is a bad thing" or cos "He wasn't playing for Money". If something is within your reach and you deliberately withdraw even when there were no opposing agents, you have done no great thing but a folly. You have been a dolt.

  • wibcl on January 5, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    Great Innings by Michael Clarke and would have been great if he had attempted for a world record. I think 43 overs were left for the day when the declaration was made. He would have needed 75 balls to score 72 runs to break the record. They could have played another 25 overs so that M Clarke could have broken the record and also M Hussey could have scored a double hundred. Still they would have had 200 overs to bowl out India with a lead of 600+ runs. M Clarke missed a simple trick here, if he cannot bowl out India in 200 overs they are not going to win the test match in any case. Great team player to declare at that situation. I remember the reactions when Rahul Dravid declared when Sachin Tendulkar on 194 no.

  • on January 5, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    That's right Team b4 self

  • on January 5, 2012, 21:39 GMT

    I don't understand when given the opportunity, why not aim to break records? He has more than enough time to bowl out India.

  • krishna_cricketfan on January 5, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    @@Hayes.Adam: It is tough time for Sachin and also Laxman. Whatever Sachin does will be used to bash him. Suppose he gets out for 50, Sachin bashers will say that he failed to deliver when it matters the most. If he scores 100 and gets out, then they will say he is for records. If he scores huge and get India to draw the match the bashing will be that he is not match winner. Since winning chances are remote, Sachin bashers will have field day. Australia is a place where India never won a series and The BIG 3 wanted to win badly. But the tour so far is a disaster. The world of intellect and arm chair pundits loves winners and winners alone.

  • krishna_cricketfan on January 5, 2012, 21:21 GMT

    @@qasim.haider1: Please enlighten me how Sachin is selfish? You say he should not chase 100th 100 and thet he must play for the team. How did you come to this conclusion that Sachin is playing for records only? I just do not get it. If he plays a long innings he is certain to get 100 plus or 200 plus. Even after this India may lose. I do not get HOW you decided when he is playing for team India and when he is slefish. Why this obsession with Sachin bashing? He has been playing for so many years. When India won the world cup, it was all fine. When India starts losing all sort of accusation comes out. I am sorry Sir, bash Sachin for everything is very bad behavior.

  • Mayan820 on January 5, 2012, 21:20 GMT

    Wow RandyOZ . . . Now you suddenly know what the great (and might I say humble Sachin Tendulkar "would have ideas about and what not". This is interesting . . . And here I thought that you were just the usual arrogant Ausie cricket supporter, but now I have to find out that you can read the minds and know the behaviour of great Indian cricket players as well?? You just know that Sachin would place his own interest before that of his team, do you? I would love to know how you know this. Please enlighten the rest of us . . .

  • potofazherbaizan on January 5, 2012, 21:18 GMT

    @Interferon. Everyone likes records but not everyone really cares about making records. Hayden chased Lara's 375 because against such a weak team, it was pretty obvious they were going to win. And when Warne raced for 500 wickets, itsn't it GOOD for the team!!!!!!!!

  • mixters on January 5, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    The sentiment was good Michael however we have seen some very entertaining cricket this summer and seeing a tripple is somthing I have seen once ever before this one. Seeing a 400 has only ever happened once may never happen again. Watching a team groung out over two days is nessary to win the match but not that good as a spectator. If we cant bowl India out in 2 days then we cant bowl them out in 2 and a half the early dec realy just robbed the viewers of some great entertainment and left them with a boring grind out. Unless some great players pull off a super run chase then bowl austalia out for 47 that would be very ugly indeed. Just ask Lillee and Marsh about that bet in england all those years ago.

  • GreenTeam-Elite on January 5, 2012, 21:07 GMT

    Well said Clarke this type of Statements are only Come from Pakistani or Australian Players which is a good sign!!! Team winnig Records are much better than Individual Records!!! Indian Players should learn some thing from Clarke!!!

  • chuckmeister on January 5, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    @qasim.haider1, i dont think clark or any other cricketer past/current can teach Sachin anything. Just because he keeps breaking records doesn't mean he is chasing them, it just means he is that "great".

  • on January 5, 2012, 20:54 GMT

    yes, team first, the basic thing which so-called 'indian greats' dont have a clue of

  • on January 5, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    When ever Pakistani players have made records there team has won. No body goes for individual records.

  • Interferon on January 5, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    @ Owais Raza! Wish it was true all the time for Australians.....didnt do it when Hayden was chasing Laras 375 that too against a team like Zimbabwe ! It was certainly for record my friend it indeed was. Again warne was going for the race to 500 wickets not for record???? he didn't want Murali to reach there 1st! Not for record????? It is human instinct ! Pup didn't declaration for the so called love of the game/spirit of the sport or to show to the world spectators but he had to prove a point to his austarlian board that he is different. Do you remember he being a cry baby in the last series against India when he got like 6 wkts for 9 runs & our useless captain Kumble was as humble as he can be didn't do anything. Every one likes record!!!! period

  • on January 5, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    @HimanshuKapoor, who is willing to take the responsibility if Sachin, Rahul and Laxman retire from Test Cricket. BTW Sachin hasn't played T20 for past 5 years for the country. Only ODI's he has played are During Worldcup 2011 . . Now he is doing his bit to give youngsters a chance . . Badrinath, Kohli, Rohit, Raina . . Yuvraj has been around for ages but he hasn't done well in the longer version of the game . . I hope this will answer question abour Sachin being selfish . . He is a great Cricketer and a Humble Human Being . . . . Cheers

  • Hayes.Adam on January 5, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    Something tells me Sachin is going to delay his hundred even if he was near to score the milestone just for the sake of him proving the same point personal records are not of any mention if they are meaning less and weightless towards wins.

  • Hayes.Adam on January 5, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    There's a difference between being selfish and being a professional, that's the thing some other batsmen need to learn from Clarke.

  • azaro on January 5, 2012, 19:57 GMT

    I am not sure that Clarke's thinking was completely straight. Obviously winning the game is priority number one so his comments about team first ring true. However, test cricket is also about entertaining a waning public that spends a lot of money to come and watch; this is an important but sadly often forgotten part of the equation. Team Australia and Clarke are entertainers albeit in a somewhat eclectic ether.

    Another hour's batting was not going to have any impact on the final result, it will finish early anyway now. The team decision would, I suspect, have been to get about an hour at the opposition at the end of the day. Erasing Hayden's record would surely have been icing on the cake for the great Australian public.

    These records are rarely challengeable in the context of winning the game. So, when they do come, it is really incumbent on the individual to give it a go and reward the long-suffering punters too!

  • Roshini on January 5, 2012, 19:49 GMT

    Wow! what a tremendous character young pup is. Here the man is 329 NO batting like a dream and highest individual test score pleading to be broken and yet he terminates all glory for team's success. No praise can be too big for this fella. Real champ. A great eye opener / lesson for individual record hunters of the sub continent who puts self before team. Long live the champ. Roshini Vass - Homagama Sri Lanka

  • Zendall on January 5, 2012, 19:33 GMT

    Way to go Pup!!! Thats a really great attitude to have!

  • qasim.haider1 on January 5, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    the "great" sachin tendulker should learn a lesson from micheal clarke and play for the team rather then pursuing records and milestones like the 1ooth hundred

  • on January 5, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    simply outclass mr.pup it's wonderfull to see that a captain performs well because these days the captains are not performing in any form of game but its gr8 he is turning out to be a perfact example for the likes of dhoni,strauss,misbah,smith and dilshan

  • ilovecricket1234 on January 5, 2012, 19:17 GMT

    Well done Clarke! I'm sure that Arabic tattoo on your left hand is a great motivation for you.

  • on January 5, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    Awesome leadership and sportsmanship demonstrated by clark,lets just not target india, any other player from any other team pakistan,sri lanka,england would have gone to try to hit 400 number cause it sounds so intimidating,but it shows mental toughness and level of commitment towards the team when Clark decided to do other wise. This is how a captain should be like.

  • OZrocks_forca_barca on January 5, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    @sanath rai what do you think mate?scoring 400 runs is an easy task? he could have easily gone for the record mind you mate but he didn't and that tells you only one thing and that is his love for the country unlike a 22 yr player playing for records only...

  • TheLight on January 5, 2012, 18:45 GMT

    So it was not selfish for him to cross 300? I think he was just afraid of trying for the 400 and failing. Else, why didn't he declare earlier? There is no way that India will come close to that score. Just goes to show how people interpret things differently.

  • hhillbumper on January 5, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    Well done to Pup.It was a good innings and showed that team comes before individual.I think it is difficult for him as he does not seem to have been taken to the heart of the fans over there.But fair play to him.

  • on January 5, 2012, 18:35 GMT

    He want to show why he is different, as he is not best batsman of Austrailian team. Infact he wanted to earn respect. thats why he always say country is top priority. He left 20-20 and IPL.

  • on January 5, 2012, 18:30 GMT

    All Sachin bashers, we all know you are asking Sachin to retire just because you are either not from India or dont understand cricket! Sachin has always put the Indian team first above everything. In 1999, When his back gave up, Sachin scored a chanceless 136 and nearly won the match for India v/s Pakistan. Same year, he returned to England right after his father's funeral to win the match for India. Please dont bash Sachin just for the heck of it. Sachin is not chasing individual milestones and people who seem to think he is, are fools and in total misunderstanding, sorry! Australians try to show they are "great" but in reality the whole world knows what they are! High time, people really respect people and dont criticise them for the heck of it. Please dont comment just because you are a cricket fan. Please understand cricket first and then post comments.

  • on January 5, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    really...never expect ny indian to do dt...

  • Mayan820 on January 5, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    How unacceptable this no. 4 test ranking must be for the Ausies after they were no.1 for 2 decades + with M'grath, Shane Warne, captain Steve W & kie. Unfortunately for them the international test cricket field is 100% + more equal these days. Those golden Australian days when Steve W & R. Ponting could just throw the ball to the above mentioned bowlers to destroy any other international attack (including the Proteas on many an occasion) now only live on in the minds of some die hard Australian fans. To get to the no. 3 position, only, (which the Proteas currently occupy) let them come and win two 4 or 5 match series against the Proteas first, on any pitch, at any ground, in any country. Bring it on . . . If they can, I will be ready to admit that they deserve the no. 3 spot, but the no. 1 spot???, now that is funny.

  • on January 5, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    I was stunned by such a sportive decleration by Clarke.. He could have easily extended his innings for one more session so that he could have easily crossed 400.. To dismiss this Indian team, it would hardly take 3 sessions.. I am sure any other player other than Clarke would have gone for a chance.. Am i right guys?

  • on January 5, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    i am very disappointed with clark decision. I dont think that India will go to day 5. And clark needed just one session. And its not only about Clark. Hussy one of the greatest match winner in Cricket and he never has double century.

  • maja2834 on January 5, 2012, 17:49 GMT

    Remember a few year back Rahul dravid declared.... and the reactions...... thats the difference between the 2 teams

  • krishna_cricketfan on January 5, 2012, 17:30 GMT

    @@RandyOZ: I respect the magnificent display by the Aussies. Clark scord a debut hundred and continued from then on. I have been watching Aussies bowling and that is just top class. But why do you bring Sachin in this converstaion? Everyone plays for the team. Period. Your comment against Sachin who has played for 23 years shows how low you think of others. It is hard to digest. For someone like me who has always appreciated the Aussies from the days of Allan Border. Why should Sachin not play? Did you guys drop Ponting based on his average for last 2 years? Sachin is Indias highest scorer in MCG. As per you what should Sachin do? Should he score zero tomorrow? OR If he scores 100 and still India loses it will be commented as useless century. What can Sachin do about that? Since you seem to klnow what team means, please enlighten me how Sachin destroyed team India.

  • Coraline_Jones on January 5, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Congos to Clark ... gr8 ...He showed what character is all about and proved that no one is above team Aus, now Tendulkar will play tomorrow to make his so called hundredth hundred ...and will show that hez above team India. Kudos to him. hey any one ever counted odi and test centuries together ??? Lol ....

  • krishna_cricketfan on January 5, 2012, 17:15 GMT

    @@RandyOZ: Your comment is totally wrong and ridiculous. Why is Sachin targetted here? Please enlighten us the innings where run scoring by Sachin is the reason for India not winning. Did he on purpose spoil India's chance? You imply "If Sachin scores it is for himself. But Ponting and Clarke score it is for the team". What should Sachin do? Should he not score hundreds? Or Should ICC declare that Sachin's hundred will not be counted in India's score card. I just do not get this ridiculous comment. You are winning because you had a GREAT set of 15 players and now also you have a very good team. Had Tendulkar not scored those hundreds, cricket would have disappeared from India. India always had a team of few good performers and overall poo/average bowling attack. India survive only because of string batting. Otherwise there would have been more whitewashes just as we are witnessing now. So, I just could not get how Sachin was not a team man.

  • Baundele on January 5, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    My reaction would be a bit different from most other 'respect'-searching readers. IMO, Clarke was not confident enough of his own ability and of his bowlers and played this cheap shot to get some 'respect'. With India's first innings being already finished, Aus bowlers should not need more than two days, in the worst case, to take those 10 Indian wickets. So, going for the record was not hurting the match result. Clarke was probably afraid of getting out before 400 and he did not trust his bowlers. Most probably the match will be finished within 4 days. Strategically, he missed the option of tiring out the Indian bowlers for two more sessions. This would have had an impact in the upcoming matches as well.

  • BigGeorgeMehemood on January 5, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    I dont think Clark telling the truth that he didnt even think about records! Nah man, I dont buy it. I think him too scared and worried to break Bradman record..same thing with Taylor. Why all australian behave this way it baffle my mind. So what is record for? Not to be broken? If it was any other nation, any player would surely go after the record. But not the sweet sugar plum Aussies, dem respect records tooo much! That is why I like my West Indian, dem would do it.

  • TTking on January 5, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    Taylor has mentioned Allan Border and Ricky Ponting as Legendary captains excluding Steve Waugh who took over the reins and was a very successful captain also.

  • arun_cheers on January 5, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    @RandyOZ , I completely agree with you. Always there will be these characterless players like Sachin who in spite of playing for more than 20 years of international cricket is still behind personal records. Hence it will always be true for a team like India that they can never stay at the top for too long.

  • on January 5, 2012, 16:41 GMT

    He wasted a great opportunity... he could say what, it was just very disappointing.. and i mean to be honest, there is no way in hell India could bat 2 days.. he could of atleast played some shots and try to break d record, make an attempt! There is more than enough time to do so and to add more misery to India he could have declared in the 1st hour of the last session when India minds would be thinking about relaxing at the end of the day.. Great innings nevertheless

  • on January 5, 2012, 16:36 GMT

    Michael Clarke missed a golden opportunity to miss a probable world or an Australian record by trying to be rediculously nice. I think he has got all mixed up with the timings. There were still more than 2 days in this test match and wouldn't have made absoloutely any difference for the end result of this match of a probable Aussie victory. The Aussies could have batted at least another one and a half hours even if Clarke got out for 329 after the post lunch session drink break. The Aussies could have had atleast an hour and twenty minutes or abt 20 overs at India and would have still taken those two wickets. This was a huge denial for Clarke himself and the team, Aussie public and the cricket in general. Very dissapointing as these occasions come once in a blue moon.

  • TTking on January 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    Clarke should have gone for the world record, the declaration could have come an hour before the end of play and still there would have been enough time to bowl India out. Yes the team is always first, but based on India's current form and Australia's superb bowling attack the record was there for the taking.

  • thebrownie on January 5, 2012, 16:30 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." - I am an Indian supporter, and I am very sure that on any day, any of us would take a victory over a Sachin 100. Unfortunately, India doesnt win as much as Aussie's did, so we take solace from the indivual records. Yes, 100 100's is indeed a big number to achieve, and we are excited about it, but not at the cost of losing a game.

  • NP473L on January 5, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    @Amit Agarwal - How can you possibly say that? That is bitter. I am an English born Indian (so naturally...I hate the aussies) but why do you have to inject such a pointless, illogical view on the matter? Can you not accept that it was a good innings, a timely (not that it makes much difference) declaration, and the fact that they will no doubt win this game? (I'll eat my words if they don't) His story is as straight as it needs to be.

    Hats off to Clarke. I hope this is a sign of things to come. I really respect him as a cricketer.

  • barani_m1975 on January 5, 2012, 16:22 GMT

    Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Just look at Michael Clarke's statements. For him team's win is very important than Personal record. I am dam sure that if you would have been in this situation you will defintely go for that highest individual record and people from India will also encourage your personal record. I won't agree that you are the best batsman in the world. Best Batsman has to play well when the team is in crisis situation, but you never done that. There are more great playerse than you who contributed a lot to Team result (win) like Ricky Ponting, Kallis, Sangakara, Jayawardane, Lara, Sir VVR, Rahul Dravid. These guys contributed a lot in Team's win (or draw) than you. You never scored when the team needs. If you score your 100th 100 and India lose the series with 0-4, then people in India don't bother about this team lost, they will celebrate to the most in India. Don't know when these people realise. Cricket is a Team game and every player must work hard to achieve team's win.

  • anita1_cric on January 5, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...".very nice ...Will indian learn anything here ...i bet u they will not ...for them individuality and fame counts ...no care abt team...

  • prozak on January 5, 2012, 16:09 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements" Huh? Is he talking about australia or india here? Australian players and fans care about winning not individual records. Is Daniel Australian?

  • on January 5, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    Yeah I respect Clarke for putting team first but I seriously wish that he had gone for that ego maniac Lara's record.

  • U_Cricket on January 5, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    @RandyOZ - just check thi link http://www.espncricinfo.com/indvsl2009/engine/match/430888.html. It was sachin who told DK to play natural game and if he wanted to score century he would have made it easily but he put the team first. Think twice before u put your comment. anyway well played Michael Clark. when sehwag score 300 on flat pitch he become flat pitch bully but when clark score 300 on flat pitch he becomes great player. Cricinfo please publish...

  • abhilash.medhi on January 5, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    @ RandyOZ: Michael Clarke's decision to declare while batting on 329 is commendable. But would you care to explain how Sachin has not been a team player? I guess standing literally on the boundary ropes in the middle of a sandstorm (Sharjah '98), batting through backspasms while his lesser teammates wither around you (Chennai '99), playing a World Cup within days of his father's death (England '99) and inspiring fear and awe in bookies (read cricinfo article-'The Saint') do not qualify as being a team man.

  • Peterincanada on January 5, 2012, 15:48 GMT

    He has put India well and truly under the cosh. I think his declaration was well timed. It would have been even better had Haddin held Gambir. I think if he really wants to put the team first, he should say good bye to Haddin. His keeping has always been untidy and his batting in recent times has been mentally very poor. both in SA and against NZ. Surely, there is someone more reliable in the wings.

  • on January 5, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    An awesome sportsmen Clarke, huge respect for him as a person. He is a Gentlemen in this gentlemen's game.

  • bsartiste on January 5, 2012, 15:46 GMT

    Would have liked him to declare at 334no like Tubby did. Start (or continue) a tradition of respect for the Don among Aus captains.

  • CheetosRule on January 5, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Clarke has gained a lot of credibility with this self-less decision. I think it is a valid point: the Indians have an obsession with individual milestones and personal landmarks. 100 is just another number. It makes little difference if we end up losing the game. Of course it's fantastic entertainment, but that landmark is not as important. It all depends on the context of the game. A match winning 40 or 50 on a difficult track beats a routine 100 on some sub-continent pitch.

  • Sagay-Ed on January 5, 2012, 15:36 GMT

    When Lara scored 400 and the match was drawn, nobody said anything. May be Clarke is trying to avoid that. It is utter nonsense to say Sachin is playing for records. Havent you ever seen Sachin walking back to pavilion unbeaten following the declaration by his captain? Whether it is Australia or India, winning does matters for everyone and not the records. If Sachin scored a century in the world cup final and if still India loses, do you think the Sachin and Indian fans will be celebrating his century? Dont compare Clarke with Sachin now. You can do it after he achieves atleast half of what Sachin did achieve.

  • on January 5, 2012, 15:35 GMT

    It was good innings, not a great one. He was up against one of the weakest bowling & fielding sides in the world on a flat track. But his decision to declare is worth appreciating. I can't imagine an Indian doing that with two and a half days left. That's called setting an example as a captain.

  • eden.2001.fakr.hai on January 5, 2012, 15:33 GMT

    read this article till Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements Its like comparing bananas with orange. The fascination/obsession is the emotion of the fans while what Clark did was worthy of a page in cricket sportsmanship. and if nation includes indian cricketers then when the time has come innings have been declared when players like dravid and sachin had been at doorstep of century. How obsessed Australians are is evident from the fact that although Ricky ponting was back in form at MCG, scoring two half centuries australian fans were satisfied only when he scored a century. So, i guess its a usual thing for fans to be obsessed.

  • on January 5, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Michael Clark had the the world record for highest individual score at his feet. It was his for the taking. There was no sign that Indian bowlers could get him out. And there was no issue of time as there was enough time for Australia to win the test. But he still declared giving up the highest world record. Whatever his reasons for that, but in my book that is very 'SELFLESS' and deserves a lot of appreciation and respect and applause. I dont see any Indian or too many other people giving up that world record.

  • LordOfCric on January 5, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." Man oh man make my day..... :)

  • swervin on January 5, 2012, 15:22 GMT

    clarke obviously respects mark taylor a lot in not wanting to beat his best - in any case, it was good to see him get a big score.

    generally speaking he doesn't score runs when we need them and typically folds in the pressure situations. Ponting, in contrast, has made several big scores in high pressure situations (just not so much recently)...

    hopefully this will be the making of clarke, even though i am not such a big fan - not because of his personality or anything else (which is fine), just that i don't think he performs consistently. the pitch is always worth taking into account here but i admit 329 no is a good score on any wicket...

    the really big question why is it exactly that india typically plays badly away from home???...what do those boys get up to on tour??

  • Ian_Mac on January 5, 2012, 15:18 GMT

    Congrats Captain Michael Clarke ... ... ... ... well said "Posted by Paul Dawson on" (January 05 2012, 10:48 AM GMT) ... AND "Posted by gt09 on" (January 05 2012, 10:47 AM GMT) ... ... ... ... I agree 100% with your sentiments.

  • kingliquors on January 5, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    well, respect to Clarke, but he is not doing any favor to his team. you only get respect when you give respect. Also its his job to put his team ahead him. Other captains do that too, he is not the only one. Sorry Clarke, respect to you but not to your statement.

  • cyniket on January 5, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    great to see! in an era that has become increasingly obsessed with averages, strike rates and personal milestones, there are still some players with the humility to keep their eye on the game. Far too many batsmen have cost their team's a win in recent times with their selfishness. If australia do go on to win this match, as they should, then clarke's innings is greater than lara's, which ulitimately cost his team the chance to win.

  • raghav430 on January 5, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    This is not true... as clark did wait for Mike Hussey to get to 150..

  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." I guess the world is getting over obsessed with records by Indian batsmen.. Just because u can get attention, overhyping Sachin's milestone.. how many noted Mahela's 10k in tests? Why Warne said Sachin ll get 100 in MCG or why the Sydney curator said Sachin ll get it here?? The fact is, the media need to sell and Sachin is the best brand it is having now.. Ridiculous to name some others like this when the fault is with u guys..

  • ultimatewarrior on January 5, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    He actually just saved a new ball :) by declaring on time...

  • zoomgauravshetty on January 5, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    absolutely great on clarkes part..never really respected him,but after today not going after 400,nor the australian individual record of 334 speaks volumes of the australian mindset..and that too when there was so much of time in the game and even the commentators were shocked who otherwise keep bickering that the declaration is due..truly wonderful when more than half the test was remaining..this can never happen in india,and that too coming from an indian..but it can also be just to rub in on sachin..a perfect mind game of which australians are masters.....

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    yea well done... thanks for declaring cuz lara is d boss!

  • ohJDM on January 5, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    BTW awesome batting clarkey, truly a class player

  • ohJDM on January 5, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Putting the team first, something Sachin would have no idea about? Just because he has scored more runs than any current Australian? Just to let u know, michael clarke is a captain, and sachin isnt. so sachin can bat for as long as he wants, score as many runs as he wants, until the captain decides for him to declare...

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:38 GMT

    Truly a selfless man. He opted out of the lucrative IPL auction and now when the world record in sight, he had made declaration. Don't think our people would have done that. Yes we are obsessed with individual records. Many would have noticed how Tendulkar is very watchful and take singles when in the 90s.

  • azaro on January 5, 2012, 14:37 GMT

    I am not sure that Clarke's thinking is completely straight. Obviously winning the game is priority number one so his comments about team first ring true. However, test cricket is also about entertaining a waning public that spends a lot of money to come and watch and that is an important but sadly often forgotten part of the equation. Another hour's batting was not going to have any impact on the final result, it will finish early anyway now, the team decision was to get about an hour at the opposition at the end of the day. These records are rarely challengeable in the context of winning the game so when they do come it is really incumbent on the individual to give it a go and reward the long-suffering punter too.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 5, 2012, 14:34 GMT

    Well done Clarke. Ladies and Gentlemen, take a bow! That's the refreshing face of an Aussie Captain. You surely have earned the respect of an Indian here. I sincerely hope you will push-on and undo the damage started by Steve Waugh in playing cricket in the right spirit.

  • Silverbails on January 5, 2012, 14:26 GMT

    Too true about India and individual records. I mean, WHO CARES about Individual records as long as the TEAM WINS. And, when will India EVER realise that - NO - ONE CARES about ridiculous individual records; all that MATTERS is the TEAM WINNING. When will Sachin understand this? Although I don't much care for Clarke, because of SCG 2008, the Aussies have got one thing right, at least - The TEAM matters ABOVE the INDIVIDUAL!!! And, the SOONER that India understands that, the better...VVS, Kohli and Dhoni all NEED to come to the party if there's going to be ANY CHANCE of India actually SAVING this SCG Test Match!! Otherwise, it's going to be 4 - 0 to the Aussies. Come On India....GO, GO, GO...

  • Beertjie on January 5, 2012, 14:20 GMT

    Amit Agarwal, clearly Daniel Brettig's acute observation "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." is quite lost on you!

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Well done pup!!! Good job!

  • TRAM on January 5, 2012, 14:19 GMT

    Very few players in today's cricket would have declared as early as Clarke did. Definitely not Indians. He could have easily banged another 71 runs in an hour or so. Hats off to you Clarke. I sincerely hope other nations would follow the same spirit from now on. But I did want to see the 400 record broken ... little sad. If he had crossed 400 and India do manage to draw this match that would sure be an awful situation for Clarke. So it is better this way.

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:18 GMT

    I think he was a bit too concerned with appearing unselfish - five runs away from breaking Bradman/Taylor's record, madness! There was at least 30 more minutes that could have been played if he felt India had to go in before tea, and from the way the pitch has performed in the afternoon session I think sending them in with an hour's play left in the day could have been the best decision. Still, nobody knows what will happen in a test match and Clarke's decision could prove very prudent and I can't begrudge him for throwing a little advantage away when he provided such a mammoth lead in the first place...

  • Wolfpac on January 5, 2012, 14:14 GMT

    Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements

    Surely your referring to India

  • Arjun_CB on January 5, 2012, 14:12 GMT

    Great innings.... Hats off to you..... Especially leaving the land mark of 400 behind for the team................

    @RandyOZ: Please use this time to appreciate Clarke rather than showing your frustration...

    Why Australia making flat track like Subcontinental??? I heard some noises from some people about green top pitches in Aus... but couldnt see in SCG And they are in driving seat much like India in India..... very pitty

  • on January 5, 2012, 14:06 GMT

    Wonder Sachin would have done the same

  • ankit_66 on January 5, 2012, 14:01 GMT

    pup u r champ..simply champ..

  • amjadmayo on January 5, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    Clarke show true sportsmanship today, playing for nation not play for records that often seen some Indian players.

  • DINESHCC on January 5, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    If you want to put the team first, then you should have declared at the score of 324/3 and the game should have been over on the second day itself.

  • on January 5, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    great knock but why in gods name did he stop!

    7 sessions remaining in the match at that stage - plenty of time to try to take advantage of this unique opportunity and to bowl out the Indians.

    I think this was an unnecessary attempt by Clarke to push this 'Its all about the team' line. Admirable in a way but he should have taken advantage of this!

  • BroccoliPower on January 5, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Superb sportsmanship!! Enough said!

    "Fans of different races, castes, ethnicities and religions who together celebrate their diversity by uniting for a common national cause. They are my foundation, they are my family. I will play my cricket for them. Their spirit is the true spirit of cricket" - Kumar Sangakkara

    Today you showed the true spirit of cricket Clarke and that is a new page for Australian cricket! Great, humbling, sportsman like gesture. I hope you'll win over the 100th 100 obsessed fans of the other nation.

  • iJoy on January 5, 2012, 13:27 GMT

    I wonder what mark Taylor would've done

  • Romenevans on January 5, 2012, 13:22 GMT

    I still remember India's tour to SA last year in Febuarary. 1st test india was about to lose the first match and Dhoni and Sachin were batting, Dhoni started teh counter attack and see that Sachin Scored his 100 and he was so happy and overjoyed with the moment. (if i was him, i wouldnt have celebrated my century, because my country was losing the match.) Putting off his helmet and waving his bat for admiration from crowd that he has again scored the century. BAM! after century he got out and India lost the match. That shows how record obsessed this guy is, and he should learn that from Micheal Clarke. Disgusted, but its a fact that our country, cricketers and general fans are records obsessed.

  • iJoy on January 5, 2012, 13:19 GMT

    With india not scoring above 300 in the last 17 overseas innings , I'd have thought the declaration came a bit late. Let's see if rain and god makes it look like a bad decision. The right point would have been to declare when hussey scored the century.

  • on January 5, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    way to go Clarke! what a slap on Sachin's face!

  • BnH1985Fan on January 5, 2012, 13:06 GMT

    Putting the team first -- that says it all. Alas, that tag does not apply to any one of the Indian batsmen. Sehwag, Dravid, SRT and VVS have 44000+ runs between them; but please remind me the last time they clicked together when the chips were down. The answer is either never, or you'd have to go a long way back down the memory lane.

  • HimanshuKapoor on January 5, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Clarke no doubt is a great leader who has put team above individual milestones, though we all know Australia still had more than 2 days to beat India.Tendulkar should learn from this and retire with respect.

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    Well Played Clarke..., Leaded from the front..., :)

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    That's what Australians have always done... putting their teams first rather than going for individual records like India, the West Indies and Pakistan...

  • bMike on January 5, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    Hats off to Clarke! It's a really good lesson to Tendulkar who always slows down his batting when he's in nineties & has been looking for so called 100th century for decades

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    what a player! what a sensational inning by m. clarke! HATS OF TO HIM....its just amazing to see such stuffs against india...

  • Praxis on January 5, 2012, 12:50 GMT

    "...well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements"- congrats Mr. Bretting, you wrote it!

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    What a load of rubbish, he just wants it to appear that way. He could easily have gone for the record, got there and still had more than two days to bowl at India, who are likely to fold again for less than 250.

  • AMUSMANI on January 5, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Michael Clarke i salute ur spirit. Like many indian you are not playing for your self you are playing for your team.

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    sachin should learn a lot from clark..........

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    I can't help getting reminded of the 194* declaration and the huge fuss created over it in India, just because a mere double hundred was for the taking.. with world record in sight for himself, clarke's declaration would have shamed a guy or two playing on the opposite side for sure!

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:20 GMT

    Mind game by Clarke. He is giving lesson to Tendulkar who is playing this series only for getting hundred.

  • on January 5, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    michael cllarke has sent a clear message to the indian cricket team....... its is not about records.......its all about wining the match........

  • boris6491 on January 5, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    Admittedly, I was skeptical about Clarke's elevation to the captaincy, solely due to the fact that he wasn't contributing enough as a batsman and I'm thrilled to see him prove me wrong, both as a captain and batsman. For those doubters who are not Clarke admirers, I'm sure you can begrudgingly admit that the decision to declare under the circumstances was a very noble one. It is sad that other comments seem to have a go at Sachin, oftentimes, he's deserved the milestones he's achieved and I can't seem to remember him trying to influence the team to wait till he gets there. I still remember when Dravid declared on him in Pakistan in '04 when he was on 194*, he wasn't too fazed, he just got on with the game. In an age where so many players seem to play for themselves, it's great to see there are some that play for their team within the spirit of the game

  • spinkingKK on January 5, 2012, 11:59 GMT

    I thought it was good for the team if Australia (not just Clarke) batted on for the whole day. That way, if they can get close to 1000 runs, that will demoralise the Indians and that would have been good for the rest of the series. In the process, Clarke could have tried the world record. However I do agree, there was no reason to go for the Bradman/Taylor score. It wasn't even an Australian record. When Clarke declared, India even had a chance of victory if Sehwag had batted well. Because, they could have wiped off the deficit by tea time 4th day. Only good thing about the declaration was, it was a sporting declaration. May be it is also an Australian tradition. Australia usually doesn't shut the door completely on the opposition - they always had a slimmest of chances for a victory. If Australia batted the whole day, it would have been impossible for an Indian victory.

  • Tiptop32 on January 5, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    I wish Sachin learns from Clarke to play for team rather than for personal landmarks atleast in his sunset days.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Clarke took a great decision as a captain hats off to him.. Sign of real leader .

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    It will be a surprise to us who only think about one special ton or ton from one single player and nothing else. Appreciation for Clark for thinking about his nation and not about his personal record. Everybody can guess now who will win Sydney test and no surprise will come as we are playing against the team who believes to play for pride of nation and not for individual records.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    HOPEFULLY INDIA CAN REPLY WITH 600 NOT OUT. if clarky can score 300 and over tendulkar should do it easy.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:38 GMT

    i think clarky should have gone for it as the aussies still would have enough time to bowl the indians out in the second innings!! It was truly a superb inning from the captain!!

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:33 GMT

    I Appericiates Mr Clarke for his mental decisions.his decision all about his team nor for his self This type of players are better choice for captaincy so iam very happy wid his decision and also he says first choice is team so very good speechless mR clarke.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    clerk is a wonderful cricketer and human being. I like his classic style of batting. Yes he could have gone for 400 but he didn't do so and defined it logic behind it. Excellence job and wish u plenty of ahead such a kind of innings. Australia is going to get the number one spot once again through this captain. weldone clerk.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    Show off..thats it ...people will never say such things they only play for the team like Sachin Tendulkar for 22years..God of Cricket...anyway not a bad knock

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    I m sure if Sachin scores a hundred and India losses the match, everyone would be congratulating Sachin for achieving this milestone while ignoring the loss. There is no such thing as "Team India"...only individual performances, that too in their own backyard. Clarke had earned my respect today.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:30 GMT

    Very well played Clarke.. Stating "Putting team first" is somewt not called 4.. Such decision wil b tough whn u r captain.. ppl talk like Clarke was around 380+.. Mind that he has to add 70 more runs to his tally.. At this stage it might seem that, it wil b still "all safe" to go for magical 400.. Bt, if some miracle happens and these extra time took, proved to b critical, thn his head wud b chopped off.. As a captain, u always dont hv a luxury to go for a personal milestone.. See, how he waited for Hussey's 150.. If he says Hussey deserves 150, dont he deserve 400.?? Certainly he does.. Bt, he cant say that in public as a reason to delay declaration.. And plz dont bring SRT r any indian into this.. If Clarke dont mind for a record, wil he declare whn he is in 391*..?? Wont he atleast give 2 more overs to take a chance, however critical the situation is..?? Be honest in ur reply.. Afterall, we all r human..

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." You rock. A glimse of this obsession will be evident tomorrow when sachin will score another meaningless hundred and TEAM INDIA will be subjected to an abject innings loss

  • bzzd on January 5, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    Huge new respect for Clarke after his selfless declaration, A team where the captain takes this attitude will become difficult to beat. I am not an Aussie fan but I am going to watch how this approach develops with interest.

  • veerakannadiga on January 5, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Indian XI put together have not crossed 300 in an innings for some time now. Clarke alone scores 329 not out. As far as Clarke not pursuing 400, well I don't know how to describe it.

  • Drew2 on January 5, 2012, 11:17 GMT

    Lara won the toss and, as captain, batted for two an a half days fuelled by the obscession of getting his record back. A pointless draw resulted. I applaude Clark for ignoring these milestones. It is the Australian way to prioritized team records over personal records. After all, it is a team game.

  • vishennaidoo on January 5, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    excellent article, daniel. perfectly sums up what australian cricket has been about under border, taylor, waugh, ponting and now clarke. and that is winning test matches. it's certainly not about big egos and personal records.

  • on January 5, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Clarke and many other legends have shed their self interest when comes the question of integrity of the team, for the country, A player is know for his figures and records in the countries having obsession of cricket and individual scores , BUT it shows true character when there are greater aspects of game , for the country.

  • BoonBoom on January 5, 2012, 10:56 GMT

    Thats the difference between other teams and Indian Team especially Mr Tendulkar.

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:48 GMT

    Huge respect for Clarke. Playing for the team is what cricket is all about. During their period of dominance, the Australians did a lot of damage to the spirit of cricket. Sledging on the pitch, arrogance off it. Kudos to Clarke for doing this. He has shown that you can overwhelm your opponents and still retain class. Well done.

  • gt09 on January 5, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    Awesome batting Clarkey - true masterclass of playin spin & concentration!!! Geniune cricket fans have always admired & know of his talent as a batsmen + now as a proactive captain, let hope the gen public & journos begin to respect so too! Hoping for a classly Sachin century but a Aussie win aswell :)

  • peter239 on January 5, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    It seems that it is the politically correct thing to say in Australia that records and milestones are not as important as the match results. Usually this is true but not always. The highest individual score is the biggest record in the book and lives in the memory long afer the result of the game or series. Who can remember the result of the game in the Bradman 334, the Sobers 365*, Lara's 375 and 400*. We can remember the Hutton 364 result partly because it contained a record victory margin, which reinforces my point that sometimes records are more important than the match result. I'm an Aussie fan but I can tell you that if I was at the SCG today I would've been disappointed. I am sure noone at the ground bar the Indian bowlers wanted a declaration. The Aussie media in particular will applaud his "unselfishness" but if they were being honest they'd admit that the prospect of challenging the Lara record was far more interesting than a potential victory.

  • nickcoxhill on January 5, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    This puts in context Angelo Mathews' disgraceful joy at scoring a hundred in the third Test against Australia, in the process destroying his country's chances of possibly winning the Test and equalling the series.

  • nikhilb239 on January 5, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Kudos to Michael Clarke for his triple. With due credit to Aussies, I just think may be our team has forgotten the way to play test cricket in challenging conditions after a spate of IPL matches and ODIs or the team is just not interested to play tests. Looking at some of the shots our batsmen played they seem to be in a hurry to score quickly and that too in boundaries. Test cricket is not always like that as Clarke and Ponting showed us. I hope they put up a better performance in 2nd innings and go down fighting rather than surrender meekly. I guess if Tendulkar makes his 100th ton tomorrow, that will definitely overshadow Clarke's magnificent innings and a thrashing India would recieve.

  • JesseV on January 5, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Absolutely awesome innings. I was lucky enough to be at the SCG for Ponting's century, and Clarke's 100 and 200. Great to see our middle order scoring runs, and big runs! My non cricket loving girlfriend even appreciated the day at the cricket. Great attitude of Clarke also, i think if it was India, like they said in the article, they wouldve gone for records, not the win. He couldve made 400 and still had 2 days to bowl Indiia out! Go Aussie, go!

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Clarke is doing a bloody good job so far as captain.

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:37 GMT

    Yeah okay. How odd that the 150 is something worth pushing back the declaration, but at the same time he says team first.

    Whatever. He needs to get his story straight.

  • crikey on January 5, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    I'm sure that a lot of people, just as I , were very disappointed when the declaration came.This was a unique opportunity, to come close or even get a score of 400, that might not come again for him or any people watching in the stands.To have the indians toiling away for potentially another day would have been good too. Wrong decision for mine.

  • on January 5, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    This is good captancy... He is really rubbing it into Sachin... Perfect mind game...

  • RasCric on January 5, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." Hahahahaaha. Couldn't have said better than this.

  • RandyOZ on January 5, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Putting the team first, something Sachin would have no idea about.

  • Charindra on January 5, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Clarke does seem to say all the right things.... He's probably the "nicest" Australian captain in many decades, but maybe a bit too politically correct and diplomatic for my liking. Oh well.....

  • keptalittlelow on January 5, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Hats off to Michael Clark, you wont see many like him believe me. Michael Clark will not be forgotten for this supreme gesture for his team. However I can understand the disappointment of Australian fans who would have loved him pass Brian Lara's record.

  • mhb1 on January 5, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    iam 100% sure if it would had been an indian he would have gone for lara's 400 not thinking about the team first & secondly iam sure if clark would have gone for 400 he would have definitely got it because indians dont know how to bowl they just throw at the wickets disgrace to bowling

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 5, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Great innings, but this Indian attack is equivalent to 6th or 7th in the world, so let's also remember that, well played M. Clarke!

  • nair_ottappalam on January 5, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Sachin should learn from this chap. It's high time he hangs up his boots and give chance for youngsters like Rohit, Cheteswar etc. rather than stick on for that 100th century

  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Yes team comes first obviously.. With 2.5 days remaining, he could still used up some 20 overs t oget that landmark.. It is not that easy to get such a chance again.. The innings deserved to be on top of the list..

  • sud_vm on January 5, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    a class apart....what a decision ....

  • on January 5, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    The most dominant inning by an Australian Batsman in recent times.... enjoyed watching all the shots that Clarke played in this inning. Really impressed the way Clarke took away the Game from India.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on January 5, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    The most dominant inning by an Australian Batsman in recent times.... enjoyed watching all the shots that Clarke played in this inning. Really impressed the way Clarke took away the Game from India.

  • sud_vm on January 5, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    a class apart....what a decision ....

  • satish619chandar on January 5, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Yes team comes first obviously.. With 2.5 days remaining, he could still used up some 20 overs t oget that landmark.. It is not that easy to get such a chance again.. The innings deserved to be on top of the list..

  • nair_ottappalam on January 5, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    Sachin should learn from this chap. It's high time he hangs up his boots and give chance for youngsters like Rohit, Cheteswar etc. rather than stick on for that 100th century

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on January 5, 2012, 9:48 GMT

    Great innings, but this Indian attack is equivalent to 6th or 7th in the world, so let's also remember that, well played M. Clarke!

  • mhb1 on January 5, 2012, 10:02 GMT

    iam 100% sure if it would had been an indian he would have gone for lara's 400 not thinking about the team first & secondly iam sure if clark would have gone for 400 he would have definitely got it because indians dont know how to bowl they just throw at the wickets disgrace to bowling

  • keptalittlelow on January 5, 2012, 10:04 GMT

    Hats off to Michael Clark, you wont see many like him believe me. Michael Clark will not be forgotten for this supreme gesture for his team. However I can understand the disappointment of Australian fans who would have loved him pass Brian Lara's record.

  • Charindra on January 5, 2012, 10:05 GMT

    Clarke does seem to say all the right things.... He's probably the "nicest" Australian captain in many decades, but maybe a bit too politically correct and diplomatic for my liking. Oh well.....

  • RandyOZ on January 5, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Putting the team first, something Sachin would have no idea about.

  • RasCric on January 5, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    "Against a nation that has a well-entrenched fascination, even obsession, with individual run-scoring achievements...." Hahahahaaha. Couldn't have said better than this.