India v Australia, 1st Test, Chennai, 1st day February 22, 2013

Clarke's lesson in footwork

On a dusty, reddish Chennai pitch, Clarke reminded his tentative team-mates why positive footwork is such an important part of batting in India
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Back in the late 1980s there was something to be said for Australians advancing towards their opponents. Pat Cash's serve-and-volley game earned him a Wimbledon title in 1987. The previous year Dean Jones danced down the pitch and into cricket folklore with a nimble-footed tour of India that included a heroic double-century in Madras. They trusted their skills and judgment and knew that if executed properly, their game-plan was sensible. It would put the pressure back on their adversaries.

These days a conservative mindset has infiltrated both sports. Nearly every top tennis player prefers to stand at the baseline and trade in rallies instead of gambling on an approach to the net. And batsmen, at least those schooled in Australian conditions, stay in their crease, unwilling to risk being beaten by cricket's equivalent of a passing shot. Except, that is, for Michael Clarke.

On a dusty, reddish Chennai pitch resembling the Roland Garros clay surface, Clarke reminded his tentative team-mates why positive footwork is such an important part of batting in India. He also showed them that footwork is not simply about rushing at the bowler. It is about choosing the right ball and remaining light on your toes, allowing for quick adjustments to stop the ball whizzing past for a winner. It is about mixing things up, sometimes going deep in the crease, sometimes far outside of it.

Of course, such a method does not suit all batsmen. The bigger, heavier Moises Henriques said after play that he was simply not nimble enough to emulate Clarke. Had he tried to he would have looked like a wrestler attempting ballet. But some of the top-order men can certainly take note of Clarke's display. They have five weeks to make a study of it.

Not only did Clarke rescue Australia from a precarious 153 for 5 after he chose to bat on the opening day of the series, he went to stumps with his 23rd Test century. It was not chanceless - he should have been given out caught at short leg on 39 - but few of the 22 hundreds that came before it were much better, considering the way the other batsmen struggled.

The rest of Australia's top six fell to the spin of R Ashwin. Several had been stuck on the crease, unsure of whether to move forward or back. Another, Ed Cowan, tried to use his feet but overcommitted. Clarke was the only one who found that perfect middle ground.

David Warner scored 59 and hit six boundaries but about as many strokes went in the opposite direction than the intended. Occasionally he advanced but generally he was glued to the crease. Staying back to fullish balls that could have become full tosses or half-volleys was risky and eventually cost him when he was trapped in front. Shane Watson was also lbw playing back. Phillip Hughes played back and played on.

Cowan showed Clarke-like intent but whereas Clarke's lightness allows him to alter course if the bowler goes wide, Cowan left himself no wriggle room and was beaten by Ashwin's equivalent of a winner down the line. As the first man out, his mistake contributed to keeping the others firmly planted in safe ground.

Matthew Wade employed the big lurch forward while keeping his back foot in the crease. On the rare occasions that he advanced, he looked as nervous as a toddler dipping a toe in the ocean for the first time. Ashwin got Wade lbw as well, lunging from the crease.

Henriques used the same method as Wade, a healthy front-foot stride. He was impressively patient but also fortunate that as his innings of 68 wore on, Clarke at the other end was ruining Ashwin's rhythm. The bowlers couldn't guess if Clarke was coming at them or going deep in the other direction. When he advanced, he did not err. If Rafael Nadal comes to the net on the wrong point he has the next one to make up for it. Not so for Clarke.

He was at his best with a pair of consecutive boundaries off Ravindra Jadeja, one through cover and one through midwicket. Both times he danced gracefully down the wicket and reached the pitch of the ball. Fittingly, his fifty came up with a six lofted over long-on. By smothering Ashwin's delivery he gave it no chance to turn.

In reaching 103 not out at stumps, Clarke passed Don Bradman's career Test run tally and the 7000-run mark. He took his record since becoming Australia's permanent captain to 2350 runs at 75.80 with nine centuries. Another captain who leads by his deeds, Alastair Cook, was talismanic on England's triumphant tour of India late last year. If Clarke can be for Australia, who knows what is possible?

But he cannot do it alone. There are many lessons Clarke will need to teach his developing team in the coming weeks and months. For now, handling spin is the priority, for 73 overs of it were bowled on the opening day of the series. Australia can only hope his apprentices were taking notes. The serve and volley might be dead but cricket's equivalent still has its place.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Thyagu5432 on February 23, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Yes, I agree with all those who are saying there was no need for Clarke to walk. He should have run off to the pavilion.

  • on February 23, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Captain Cook taught Indians in the last test series how to play Indian Spinners in India..and Captain Clarke shows 'Yeh..That's Correct' !...Headlines will follow on 24th of Feb...'India collapsed against Oz's Fast Bowling' !!

  • dunger.bob on February 23, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    One thing that no one has mentioned so far is that Clarke will dance down the pitch to defend. Most people associate the twinkle toed footwork with attack, but he does it to defend as well. .. My theory is that he does it purely on line and especially length and doesn't make up his mind until he's in position. .. now that's the way to play spin I reckon. ..mind you, you have to be pretty good to get away with it ball after ball after ball. .. to all the people placing Clarke right along side Hannibal Lectre because he didn't walk ' be like the engineer my friends. Build a bridge, get over it'.

  • ravi_hari on February 23, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Excellent comparison to the dying art in Tennis and Cricket. I fully agree with Coverdale about footwork in both the sports. I have lost interest in watching Tennis because of Lendlisation of the sport. Cricket still has some Asians who employ the footwork against spinners. If people around the world learn from Clarke they can play any bowler anywhere in the world. Clarke had his baptism in tests and ODIs in India and that has helped him tremondously. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of every spinner and adapts his technique to suit them. The on-drive he played against the spin of Jadeja shows how quickly he has learned about Jadeja's bowling. That is why he is so successful. It is a treat to watch someone playing with confidence throughout something which Watson started with but could not sustain. Most of the batsmen fell by staying in the crease. With ball keeping low and skidding through, one should move forward to avoid being hit in front. Hope Aussies learn this fast enough.

  • henchart on February 23, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Pup has done it yet again.He tricked India into playing an over the hill offie instead of in form Left Armer .Indians are now up against it.Barring Pujara none of the Indian batsmen including the grand old man are in good nick.Couple of early wickets and hosts would be back in their now too familiar catching up game .Expect a press conference on late fourth day with Dhoni ruing loss of toss and form of his batsmen.Trust the Indians to dig a hole for opponents and more often than not falling into it themselves.

  • pat_one_back on February 23, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    What a joke you are if you're claiming Clarke should have walked, all bowlers attempt to deceive umpires and NEVER EVER call back an unlucky batsmen.... Man up and respect a great cricketer valuing his wicket playing for team and country.

  • Barnesy4444 on February 23, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    All it needs now is Tendulkar to be given out when he didn't hit it for India to finally come to the party and negotiate a better way to use DRS. As for Clarke being one of the best ever, I think he needs to bat no lower than 4 for these type of statements.

  • Simoc on February 23, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    We didn't learn much knew on day one except that Henriques can bat and despite his critics, Ashwin can bowl. Today we might find out how smart it is going into a spinning wicket test with a quick bowling attack. It'll test Siddles theory.

  • dogsbody1964 on February 23, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Clarke walk - few batsman do today including those from the subcontinent. Would have been most likely given with DRS however it works both ways - who knows some of the LBWs may have overturned on appeal. DRS has its advantages however there are times when over analysis has resulted in strange outcomes.

  • Mad_Hamish on February 23, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    There are very few people who walk if they think they can get away with it and it's never been all that common.

  • Thyagu5432 on February 23, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    Yes, I agree with all those who are saying there was no need for Clarke to walk. He should have run off to the pavilion.

  • on February 23, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Captain Cook taught Indians in the last test series how to play Indian Spinners in India..and Captain Clarke shows 'Yeh..That's Correct' !...Headlines will follow on 24th of Feb...'India collapsed against Oz's Fast Bowling' !!

  • dunger.bob on February 23, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    One thing that no one has mentioned so far is that Clarke will dance down the pitch to defend. Most people associate the twinkle toed footwork with attack, but he does it to defend as well. .. My theory is that he does it purely on line and especially length and doesn't make up his mind until he's in position. .. now that's the way to play spin I reckon. ..mind you, you have to be pretty good to get away with it ball after ball after ball. .. to all the people placing Clarke right along side Hannibal Lectre because he didn't walk ' be like the engineer my friends. Build a bridge, get over it'.

  • ravi_hari on February 23, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Excellent comparison to the dying art in Tennis and Cricket. I fully agree with Coverdale about footwork in both the sports. I have lost interest in watching Tennis because of Lendlisation of the sport. Cricket still has some Asians who employ the footwork against spinners. If people around the world learn from Clarke they can play any bowler anywhere in the world. Clarke had his baptism in tests and ODIs in India and that has helped him tremondously. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of every spinner and adapts his technique to suit them. The on-drive he played against the spin of Jadeja shows how quickly he has learned about Jadeja's bowling. That is why he is so successful. It is a treat to watch someone playing with confidence throughout something which Watson started with but could not sustain. Most of the batsmen fell by staying in the crease. With ball keeping low and skidding through, one should move forward to avoid being hit in front. Hope Aussies learn this fast enough.

  • henchart on February 23, 2013, 3:42 GMT

    Pup has done it yet again.He tricked India into playing an over the hill offie instead of in form Left Armer .Indians are now up against it.Barring Pujara none of the Indian batsmen including the grand old man are in good nick.Couple of early wickets and hosts would be back in their now too familiar catching up game .Expect a press conference on late fourth day with Dhoni ruing loss of toss and form of his batsmen.Trust the Indians to dig a hole for opponents and more often than not falling into it themselves.

  • pat_one_back on February 23, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    What a joke you are if you're claiming Clarke should have walked, all bowlers attempt to deceive umpires and NEVER EVER call back an unlucky batsmen.... Man up and respect a great cricketer valuing his wicket playing for team and country.

  • Barnesy4444 on February 23, 2013, 2:31 GMT

    All it needs now is Tendulkar to be given out when he didn't hit it for India to finally come to the party and negotiate a better way to use DRS. As for Clarke being one of the best ever, I think he needs to bat no lower than 4 for these type of statements.

  • Simoc on February 23, 2013, 1:30 GMT

    We didn't learn much knew on day one except that Henriques can bat and despite his critics, Ashwin can bowl. Today we might find out how smart it is going into a spinning wicket test with a quick bowling attack. It'll test Siddles theory.

  • dogsbody1964 on February 23, 2013, 0:52 GMT

    Clarke walk - few batsman do today including those from the subcontinent. Would have been most likely given with DRS however it works both ways - who knows some of the LBWs may have overturned on appeal. DRS has its advantages however there are times when over analysis has resulted in strange outcomes.

  • Mad_Hamish on February 23, 2013, 0:15 GMT

    There are very few people who walk if they think they can get away with it and it's never been all that common.

  • mateyman on February 22, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Why should Clarke walk when India refuse to give him the DRS? Why should he walk, when if he gets any Indians out and they're given not-out he can't review?

  • on February 22, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    Funny criticism - Batsman doesn't walk, he's criticized. Bowler appeals for rubbish that was miles from the stumps/bat/pad, Wicket keepers who take off the stumps in an attempt to stop a legside wide being called, fielders who appeal when they take a close bounce ball, that appears to all be OK. (No criticism of any side here, virtually all sides do it). Solution is some form of DRS, hot spot certainly seems OK although I question hawkeye, but if you refuse to use it then stop criticizing the umpire. You've ceded him absolute power, accept his decision. He'll be wrong sometimes, who isn't, but it tends to even out. You only point to the ones that don't go your way. I think Cowan was batting OK and threw it away, needs to do better but can improve. Congratulations to the standouts so far: Ashwin, Clarke & Henriques. More good cricket in the middle from both sides - I'm in Aussie corner but applaud skill on both sides.

  • on February 22, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    I watched the day on TV and was bemused but not surprised by the tactics of the Indian team. There appears to be a concerted push to enshrine "bat before wicket" as a means of dismissal. I think Watson was a little stunned at Jadeja's appeal (which hit the middle and went to short leg) I suppose it "almost" got to his pad. There were many other instances of palpably gratuitous appeals being made in the hope of getting a howler - eg Dhoni's less than sportsmanlike effort at the end.

    Of course, its all part of putting pressure on the umpires and is rewarded in the Indian context of having no DRS. Hence the ludicrous appeals!

    When one talks about sportsmanship, it doesn't really compare to the completely legitimate choice for a batsman to not walk. (Last walker, I remember at international level was Adam Gilchrist). This is a concerted attempt by India to gain an advantage by the weight of appeal method - hoping to build pressure on the umpire to induce a bad decision with no DRS

  • ozziespirit on February 22, 2013, 23:02 GMT

    Clarke was awesome today but those that say he's not the best in the world because he 'hides down the order' at five, have got a point. Clarkey's a great attacking player but it's a one-dimensional role: picking off the bowling and hittin the gas. We really need him in at 3 at least, Hughes looks terrible at the moment.

  • OzWally on February 22, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    So @Joseph Langford should we throw out of the record books all innings where someone is dropped, survived a missed lbw or stumping, etc?

    Unless Clarke is the luckiest person in the world bar none, then I think the law of averages takes care of these situations.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on February 22, 2013, 22:26 GMT

    Well played Clarke. Nothing less can be expected from this master who is just so good against spin. That said, ICC is killing the game by not using slo-mos for howlers. The goal should always be to get as many correct decisions as possible, reduce howlers and help with marginals, if available. As of now, slo-mo replays is a wonderful tool for howler reduction. It should never be, "Yeah, if you reject hot-spot or tracker, then there is no DRS". ICC's logic seems to have gone for a long walk. This has to change. All boards should come together and propose this simple solution so that we can have clean cricket. Umpires are most of the times in the best position. So, I don't understand why is it the responsibility of the players to review by guessing from odd positions? And what's this thing with just 2 reviews? How about using their brains for once? If two tailenders are trying to save a match, how can we rob them off a fair chance? Third umpire please, when in doubt!

  • Meety on February 22, 2013, 21:58 GMT

    @Jo Langford - "..showed the his true nature of sportsmanship by not walking." You have absolutley no clue. 99% of batsmen do NOT walk, as they know that there will be days they are given when they are not, & usually it evens itself out over time. Nothing to do with sportsmanship whatsoever. @Nathan Crumb - correct, it COULD be argued it is disrespectful to the umpire to walk when given not out as you are technically telling the Ump he is wrong.

  • on February 22, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    @ Raja Sekhar Chitela - I can't understand where you are coming from. India can only blame themselves for not having the DRS. Why are they the only country in the world not to embrace the technology available?

  • Matth on February 22, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    Without DRS you do not walk. You take the lucky calls because you know you will also get unlucky ones somewhere along the line. You just accept the umpires decision (even when you get a bad one). Why is not walking treated any differently to the numerous appeals by bowler and wicket keeper when they know the batsman is not out. They are no different.

  • on February 22, 2013, 20:59 GMT

    Why should Clarke walk? Growing up I was taught to respect the umpire's decision and not to argue or complain when he was wrong. By walking you're not respecting his decision

  • dinosaurus on February 22, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    All this kerfuffle about Clarke not walking has to be set against the Indian campaign of orchestrated false appeals. summed up nicely by the commentator who remarked on Dhoni's appeal for "bat before wicket" off the last ball of the day!

  • on February 22, 2013, 20:30 GMT

    Hypocricy: people winging about non availability of DRS (Clarke) wouldn't walk off after a massive edge

  • 5_day_tragic on February 22, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    Clarkes sportsmanship being questioned....that's all any critics have left? He doesn't walk...Cry me a river. DRS should be in use...I understand the issues with the ball tracker, but it still works well because it needs to be clear to overturn an umpires decision.on top of that, where the ball pitches and where it hits the batsmen is always accurate and these two factors influence a lot of decisions. Not to mention yesterdays 'edge' would have been shown up in two seconds flat.... NEWSFLASH...guys that walk STILL get crap decisions too. First time I got given out ct behind when I know I didn't hit it....never walked again.

  • on February 22, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    Footwork against spin is god-gifted ...It's not like teammates emulating clarke and scoring tons of centuries against much improved Indian spinners ...Clarke has a completely different technique against spinners when compared to cook who tortured Indian spinners some months back ..but it was kevin peterson innings that changed the outcome of the series ...

  • JustIPL on February 22, 2013, 19:46 GMT

    I will take the opportunity to compare Clarke with Cook. Cook set the precedence during the Ahmedabad test despite loosing and the other batsmen soon followed and turned the tide. Hopefully, Clarke will be able to instigate the same in Aussie teammates.

  • on February 22, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Well done Mr Clarke!!

    But we all know that the "Best Player in the World to Spin" was out on 39 when he was caught, and showed the his true nature of sportsmanship by not walking.

    It's not like he was dropped, or bowled of a no ball, or the keeper fluffed a stumping ..... he hit the ball and it was caught!!!

    Surely if you are the "Best Player in the World to Spin" you don't need such "opportunities".

    Ps. Congratulations Mr. Henriques on a wonderful debut 68.

  • on February 22, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    What was apparent in Clark's batting was not just his agility on feet but also quick thinking. His ability to anticipate bowlers and the umpire, for example, the two consecutive fours against Ishant; his four to reach his century; the way he got back nonchalantly to crease after being caught bat and pad. It is refreshing to see a captain who is naturally so agile mentally. I am quite convinced that he will outwit and out think rigid opposition.

  • satchander on February 22, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    Fantastic article. I liked the way the footwork of advancing to the spinners has been likened to the server and volley approach in tennis. Needless to say I am a big fan of tennis too ! anyway coming back to Clarke, I have no doubt what so ever in my mind that he is one of the best players to have ever played this game. I think he will go on to even surpass Ricky Ponting's batting records and become the top run scorer ever for Australia. He is such a complete batsman that I don't know how indians are going to get him out. When he scored his debut century in India, I realised he is one of the very rare breeds of overseas players who is comfortable playing both pace and spin and is destined for greatness. At this point other players in aussie team will do well to learn from him and adapt to the alien pitch conditions that they are getting to see.

  • Stevo_NZ on February 22, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    First day of he tour summarised - Hughes no idea against spin. Wade & Warner not much better. Cowan - poor. We are going to be 3 or 4 down for not much all tour. Playing Henriques is the correct approach - see if he has got the technique and temperament. So far so good - at least he showed some commitment. Forget Hughes & Cowan. Open with Watson & try Khawaja.

  • deathstar01 on February 22, 2013, 19:00 GMT

    very good innings and one of the best against spin.

  • Beertjie on February 22, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    Beautifully written piece, Brydon. Clarke needs to continue to have such fortunate days and others need to step up or it's going to be a long and perhaps very painful lesson for the boys. Just saying.

  • Tumbarumbar on February 22, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    For the various people who have been critical of Clarke's innings because he was given not out I would love to take you back through every 'great' innings ever played and see how many were chanceless in terms of umpiring decisions or catches dropped. If the DRS (which I don't like) had been in use Clarke would have gone but Henriques would have been saved even though to the naked eye it was a fair enough LBW decision so you take the good with the bad.

  • 2.14istherunrate on February 22, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    A strange inevitablity accompanies Clarke's batting now; so much the main man now he responds again in the captain's best way. Though there atr 5 other batters the thought must be playing on Australia minds that if he does not perform then it is curtains. Ojha must be a bit miffed. It's no better than picking Patel over Panesar taing Jadeja into the field instead. though the fashion is better without Ojha.An interesting state of play resides. And Bhajee must be waiting to pounce.

  • 2474 on February 22, 2013, 16:26 GMT

    Now thats an impressive article!!! Clarke's innings was a treat, so few play spin in subcontinent with such assurity!!

  • Thyagu5432 on February 22, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    Yes, everybody should learn a lesson or two from Clarke's footwork. When you edge the ball, get caught and the umpire doesn't give you out, you make sure your foot doesn't work. Thats the lesson you take from Clarke. What a great captain?

  • RandyOZ on February 22, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Clarke is easily the best player of spin in the world, and the best batsman in general. If one or two of the top four can pull their weight, with Clarke, easily the best captain in the world, coming in at 5, India are in for a lot of leather chasing.

  • on February 22, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    Seeing Clarke's wonderful footwork, I feel bad for Gautam Gambhir. Gauti used to have similar nimble & agile footwork. In walking down the pitch to hoist bowlers over to the horizon, Gouti's skills used to be pretty close to Hayden's. Where did he misplace it? Hope, he gets it back! Poor Gouti!

  • on February 22, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Micheal Clarke is the finished article. The perfect batsman who can play on seaming, bouncy as well as spinning tracks. If not the best then one of the three best in the world to watch along with Amla and KP. The bigger test will start when Australia bowls tomorrow but for them to get close the series they need Clarke to score serious runs with at least 1 or 2 guys supporting.

  • ozanishoz on February 22, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    To those of you who feel Clarke isnt the best player of spin in cricket at the moment - maybe. But the pitch he batted on today was by far the toughest to play and also he seemed elegant in doing so . Name one batter who can do both of this together !

  • realfan on February 22, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    i wonder why clarke comes so late down the order....he is too good to be played at 5th palce... i think he should play at 3 or 4 position....

  • on February 22, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    I cannot call Clarke's innings a good one and but not a great one. He is still there because of a poor decision by Umpire. I am losing interest in Sports because of poor umpiring decisions which are completely changing match courses. The other examples of bad umpiring decisions are Nasir Jamshed catch in 1st ODI against India at the same venue against same bowler Ashwin. Worst umpiring decision off all will be the ball-in call in Australian Open Tennis in which Novak Djokovic's received against Stanislas Wawrinka in the fifth set when he is down by a break point. Had it been called out as rightly shown in replays he would have lost that match and some one else would have been the winner. Even though he may legally won the match because Wawrinka and definitely eligible for winning the title, he is definitely not a deserved winner. I don't understand why Sports Governing bodies make it a priority to make proper changes to existing rules about overruling the bad umpiring decisions.

  • on February 22, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    dhoni blunders are countinuing in this test and his captaincy does not changed comparing with england series when ever batsmen scores a boundary dhoni changes the fielding and make it should be defensive fielding always try to stop runs rather then taking wkts now we look clark captaincy how he presserise the indian batsmen look him and learn something from clark..

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Clarke being called the best spinner in the world is an overstatement .Ashwin at the best is an average spinner .There are better spinners in Ajmal,Swann and better players of spin (outside the subcontinent) inAmla,Kallis,Chanderpaul, and probably even the ever improving Cook.Having said that Clarke is in the form of his life and it is a treat to watch him bat .

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    Realy foolish decision to drop ojha because he is ur succesfull bolwer against england series now he is dropped this is dhoni tactics he always likes to add jadeja and ashwin and wen clark came into the crease they already lost 4 wkts but dhoni spread the fielding at boundary rope i suprised to see this how can a captain set defensive fielding to a new batsmen, our team did not have tacticks or plans against clark (who is no1 batsmen),watson,warner and henriques who played practice matches well..this is dhoni blunders it will cost us and we can loss this test even test series...

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    clark not played any practice match its alion condition to him but still he played fantastic knock to save ausies and also ensured ausies victory in this match.compare to our batsmen who always wants more practice games on bouncy tracks bt still not played one inings in australia test series learn from clark if u indian batsmen does not from clark chennai test will be lost, our two seamers bowld patheticaly and i dont hav words describe tht in ur condition u does not know how to bowl haa ha its very shame,we will see how ausies seamers utilise this condition see tomaro how they destroy our batting lineup. see u tomaro...

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Clarke seems to be a complete batsmen in all conditions now, previously he was on consistent. now he is a world beater. aussies on the drivin seat i say. indian bowled very badly in the 1st session that is costing the match. they shud have played the Indian recent top performer Ohja. and Ajnka Rahane. Dhoni is repeatedly making this terrible mistake in team selection, this might cost him his captaincy.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on February 22, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    It is a shame that a batsman of Clarke's ability has to be at the centre of an incident that has affected the series so emphatically from Day 1. We live in the age of TV cameras, where not walking when you've middled it is obvious to one and all, and only serves to tarnish a series. This doesn't seem to happen to the top teams teams in the world. It is such a shame as moments like these can define a reputation. Clarke's only brought it upon himself.

  • Rampant_Aussie on February 22, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Coverdale has it right on the mark; an excellent article. Clarke is probably the best player of spin the world, at least outside of the subcontinent. Not only does Clarke's footwork allow him to get to the pitch of the ball and serve as a run making opportunity, but toys with the bowler's minds and throws them off their length. We saw this today on numerous occasions. Not all of our batsmen have the technique to emulate Clarke, but if our top four stay rooted to the crease and play back to pitched up deliveries, the Indian spinners will do them. Australia will be in a world of trouble and Clarke can't resurrect an innings every time there is a collapse. Our batsman can do it, but it requires intense powers of concentration, patience and judgement. The Indian spinners aren't a mystery, they'e just good bowlers. They execute their plans well at home. You have to throw them off their plans by out thinking them. As Clarke showed, it's really a mind game. We will see.

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  • Rampant_Aussie on February 22, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    Coverdale has it right on the mark; an excellent article. Clarke is probably the best player of spin the world, at least outside of the subcontinent. Not only does Clarke's footwork allow him to get to the pitch of the ball and serve as a run making opportunity, but toys with the bowler's minds and throws them off their length. We saw this today on numerous occasions. Not all of our batsmen have the technique to emulate Clarke, but if our top four stay rooted to the crease and play back to pitched up deliveries, the Indian spinners will do them. Australia will be in a world of trouble and Clarke can't resurrect an innings every time there is a collapse. Our batsman can do it, but it requires intense powers of concentration, patience and judgement. The Indian spinners aren't a mystery, they'e just good bowlers. They execute their plans well at home. You have to throw them off their plans by out thinking them. As Clarke showed, it's really a mind game. We will see.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on February 22, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    It is a shame that a batsman of Clarke's ability has to be at the centre of an incident that has affected the series so emphatically from Day 1. We live in the age of TV cameras, where not walking when you've middled it is obvious to one and all, and only serves to tarnish a series. This doesn't seem to happen to the top teams teams in the world. It is such a shame as moments like these can define a reputation. Clarke's only brought it upon himself.

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    Clarke seems to be a complete batsmen in all conditions now, previously he was on consistent. now he is a world beater. aussies on the drivin seat i say. indian bowled very badly in the 1st session that is costing the match. they shud have played the Indian recent top performer Ohja. and Ajnka Rahane. Dhoni is repeatedly making this terrible mistake in team selection, this might cost him his captaincy.

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    clark not played any practice match its alion condition to him but still he played fantastic knock to save ausies and also ensured ausies victory in this match.compare to our batsmen who always wants more practice games on bouncy tracks bt still not played one inings in australia test series learn from clark if u indian batsmen does not from clark chennai test will be lost, our two seamers bowld patheticaly and i dont hav words describe tht in ur condition u does not know how to bowl haa ha its very shame,we will see how ausies seamers utilise this condition see tomaro how they destroy our batting lineup. see u tomaro...

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:39 GMT

    Realy foolish decision to drop ojha because he is ur succesfull bolwer against england series now he is dropped this is dhoni tactics he always likes to add jadeja and ashwin and wen clark came into the crease they already lost 4 wkts but dhoni spread the fielding at boundary rope i suprised to see this how can a captain set defensive fielding to a new batsmen, our team did not have tacticks or plans against clark (who is no1 batsmen),watson,warner and henriques who played practice matches well..this is dhoni blunders it will cost us and we can loss this test even test series...

  • on February 22, 2013, 14:55 GMT

    Clarke being called the best spinner in the world is an overstatement .Ashwin at the best is an average spinner .There are better spinners in Ajmal,Swann and better players of spin (outside the subcontinent) inAmla,Kallis,Chanderpaul, and probably even the ever improving Cook.Having said that Clarke is in the form of his life and it is a treat to watch him bat .

  • on February 22, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    dhoni blunders are countinuing in this test and his captaincy does not changed comparing with england series when ever batsmen scores a boundary dhoni changes the fielding and make it should be defensive fielding always try to stop runs rather then taking wkts now we look clark captaincy how he presserise the indian batsmen look him and learn something from clark..

  • on February 22, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    I cannot call Clarke's innings a good one and but not a great one. He is still there because of a poor decision by Umpire. I am losing interest in Sports because of poor umpiring decisions which are completely changing match courses. The other examples of bad umpiring decisions are Nasir Jamshed catch in 1st ODI against India at the same venue against same bowler Ashwin. Worst umpiring decision off all will be the ball-in call in Australian Open Tennis in which Novak Djokovic's received against Stanislas Wawrinka in the fifth set when he is down by a break point. Had it been called out as rightly shown in replays he would have lost that match and some one else would have been the winner. Even though he may legally won the match because Wawrinka and definitely eligible for winning the title, he is definitely not a deserved winner. I don't understand why Sports Governing bodies make it a priority to make proper changes to existing rules about overruling the bad umpiring decisions.

  • realfan on February 22, 2013, 15:12 GMT

    i wonder why clarke comes so late down the order....he is too good to be played at 5th palce... i think he should play at 3 or 4 position....

  • ozanishoz on February 22, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    To those of you who feel Clarke isnt the best player of spin in cricket at the moment - maybe. But the pitch he batted on today was by far the toughest to play and also he seemed elegant in doing so . Name one batter who can do both of this together !