South Africa v Australia, 1st Test, Cape Town, 1st day November 9, 2011

Clarke's finest innings

Michael Clarke's century at Newlands should remove any doubts about whether he is the man to lead Australia
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Before Michael Clarke took over as captain, he had made 14 Test hundreds but it was hard to remember a truly great innings. He has now provided two in two Tests. If any doubts remained about whether Clarke was the man to lead Australia in the coming years, they have been expunged by his efforts in Colombo and Cape Town.

It is easy to look at Clarke and see the tattoos and the metrosexual image and choose not to see the dedication, the single-mindedness that has led him to ignore the Indian Premier League and sit out of the Champions League T20. The hard edge. Ricky Ponting had it. So did Steve Waugh. And Allan Border's toughness is the stuff of legend. Could Clarke really follow those grizzled leaders? His performance at Newlands shows that he can.

For batsmanship and leadership, this was his finest innings. At the SSC in September, Clarke came in with Sri Lanka in a position to win the match if they could run through Australia's middle and lower order. He refused to budge and scored 112, securing a drawn match and series victory on his first tour in charge. But that was on a pitch as flat as the top of Table Mountain.

Clarke's unbeaten 107 at Newlands - he can add to the total on the second morning - was a giant performance under the circumstances. Australia had been sent in on a surface that had sweated under the covers for two hours immediately before play after a shower slithered over the top of the mountain and surprised the players as they warmed up. It had also rained for most of the previous day.

These were conditions Australia knew well, from past unpleasant experiences. At Headingley last year they were made to look incompetent by Pakistan's swing bowlers and were skittled for 88 on the first day. And on Boxing Day at the MCG last year they made 98, every batsman falling to an edge behind the wicket as their techniques were exposed against quality swing bowling on another juicy surface.

It could easily have happened again here. The openers lost their wickets to edges and Ricky Ponting was trapped lbw, surprised by a delivery that didn't move in the air. Dale Steyn's outswinger that had Shane Watson caught at slip was almost unplayable, starting from middle stump and curling away, the art of a master.

It was against this backdrop that Clarke strode to the crease at 40 for 3. A captain's innings was required and it was delivered. Steyn sent a series of bouncers towards Clarke, who ducked and weaved and didn't always get out of the way. But Clarke did not intend to be cowed. A straight drive back past Steyn took him to 10, and it was a statement of intent.

"I remember Warnie [Shane Warne] saying to me years ago that the better the bowling the more positive you have to be," Clarke said at stumps. "That was my attitude today. I knew I was facing a pretty good attack in conditions that were going to do a little bit. But I thought I needed to do something to put a little bit of pressure back on them.

"On wickets like that there are no real guarantees. You can try your hardest and that's why you work hard on your technique in training, so you've got a base to be able to go back to when the ball is moving around. But you need a bit of luck as well. Today I had that. I played and missed a few balls, I hit a couple wide of the slips or over point. You've just got to have the confidence and courage to play your way."

A few loose balls from Jacques Kallis helped. Clarke moved to his half-century from 56 balls having been 3 from 20. He had a fine companion at the other end; Shaun Marsh's calm belied his Test experience and it seemed to provide comfort to his captain. Notably, Marsh had not been part of the side in Leeds or Melbourne.

But even after Marsh departed, Clarke continued to play with impunity while the rest of his team-mates were punished. Only Marsh and Mitchell Johnson made double figures. In reaching triple figures, Clarke appeared a class above his colleagues.

Ashwell Prince said in the lead-up to the game that South Africa-Australia clashes were so hard-fought that "it's not about the pretty cover drive". It was when Clarke brought up his hundred with one, a super stroke off the bowling of Kallis. It was Clarke's 108th delivery. His counterattacking plan had worked.

Great captains combine tactical nous with personal performance. Clarke is four Tests into his leadership term but already it's hard to fault him in either of those fields. If he can marshal his troops on the field like he led them with the bat, Australia might just have some hope of winning this match.

After play, he would not be drawn on whether he considered this his finest innings. That, he said, was for others to decide. Yes, Michael, it was.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • trueindian on November 10, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    It was inevitable...it was in destiny...it was bound to HAPPEN!! Clarke showed why he was first picked as a teenager and moulded inside the hard Australian circuit. His was a gem in a many lustrous innings, a class which Test cricket boasts.

    Secondly, Smith & Amla are batting beautifully in the same trying conditions. Especially Amla. He is playing ODI in a Test innings. He is goin to be the BEST of ALL.

  • bumsonseats on November 10, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    a very good innings but he must thank the saffers bowling. i said yesterday in the 55 overs bowled australia in the conditions and pitch they should have been bowled out and the saffers at least 2 wickets down. and today if the aussies could get 275 it would be a winning total in hindsight my piece will be posted on todays report. just to say if the aussies tighten up with their bowling they to me can still win, but as a pom 47 was great lol. dpk

  • zico123 on November 10, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    wonder why Australia carry the most inconsistent bowler in the world called mitchel Johnson in the side for the last 2 years, he delivers once in 6 months! he should have been dropped 2 years back, instead he is still playing and not the youngstar Cummins, no wonder Australia is ranked 4-5

  • zico123 on November 10, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Clarke is ready from all ends as captain as batsman, Australia doesn't need very old Punter in the side anymore, he is nothing but a burden, liability in the side, he is someone who would never quit on his own, have to be dragged out, he is blocking growth of Australian cricket, blocking a rising youngstar to come into the side

  • me54321 on November 10, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    OhhhhMattyMatty actually has a point; for Australian and English players Ashes performances are necessary. No matter what you achieve against other teams, an Ashes test winning performance is always more important

  • Romenevans on November 10, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    @ Ohmatty - We indian respect Dale Steyn because he performed in india and we had some seriosu business with him when he was bowling in india in recent tours. But Bresnan? LOL pop forget things very easily, and the way Kohli and co thrashed bresnan everywhere, i dont see him comparing with the greatness of Dale Steyn.

  • boris6491 on November 10, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    People's complaints about Clarke have not been because he is the captain or because people in general don't like him. It's always been because we know he is capable of more, we know he can be the pillar of consistency and can rise up to the challenge, he has the talent for sure. For the first time in years, I've seen him do so with two sensational innings in the last two games. I can remember now why the new guy with spiky blonde hair who made a century on debut in 2004 in India became my favourite player at the time. I hope this continues.

  • Romenevans on November 10, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @ OhhhhMattyMatty - LOL your bresnnan couldn't do a thing against Kohli and co's what you expect him to do against pup? Well played pup!

  • Pablo123 on November 10, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Yup it was his best because he was fighting the best bowlers in the world on a wicket they were using to their advantage - very fiery spells from Morkel, Philander & Steyn. Good one Michael, lets just hope the Saffers get you and you buds out early today so we can build a considerable lead. Can't wait to see Jacques Rudolph perform again. The guy has top scored in two County seasons and has top scored in First Class South African cricket since his return. So nice to see the SA selectors picking on merit and performance for a change !

  • popcorn on November 10, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Michael Clarke has TRULY arrived as Captain.Will the detractors shut up and listen? Note what I have ALWEAYS been saying - his BEST batting position is Number 5 - where he has scored the Maximum runs and Centuries - where he brought himself back to in the third Test against Sri Lanka and scored a fighting Century. And now a back to back century. Even after Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey retire, I hope he will stay at No.5. Like Steve Waugh did. Usman Khaja can bat at No.4 or 6.Hopefully,George Bailey or Callum Ferguson can take the other slot.

  • trueindian on November 10, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    It was inevitable...it was in destiny...it was bound to HAPPEN!! Clarke showed why he was first picked as a teenager and moulded inside the hard Australian circuit. His was a gem in a many lustrous innings, a class which Test cricket boasts.

    Secondly, Smith & Amla are batting beautifully in the same trying conditions. Especially Amla. He is playing ODI in a Test innings. He is goin to be the BEST of ALL.

  • bumsonseats on November 10, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    a very good innings but he must thank the saffers bowling. i said yesterday in the 55 overs bowled australia in the conditions and pitch they should have been bowled out and the saffers at least 2 wickets down. and today if the aussies could get 275 it would be a winning total in hindsight my piece will be posted on todays report. just to say if the aussies tighten up with their bowling they to me can still win, but as a pom 47 was great lol. dpk

  • zico123 on November 10, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    wonder why Australia carry the most inconsistent bowler in the world called mitchel Johnson in the side for the last 2 years, he delivers once in 6 months! he should have been dropped 2 years back, instead he is still playing and not the youngstar Cummins, no wonder Australia is ranked 4-5

  • zico123 on November 10, 2011, 16:23 GMT

    Clarke is ready from all ends as captain as batsman, Australia doesn't need very old Punter in the side anymore, he is nothing but a burden, liability in the side, he is someone who would never quit on his own, have to be dragged out, he is blocking growth of Australian cricket, blocking a rising youngstar to come into the side

  • me54321 on November 10, 2011, 13:19 GMT

    OhhhhMattyMatty actually has a point; for Australian and English players Ashes performances are necessary. No matter what you achieve against other teams, an Ashes test winning performance is always more important

  • Romenevans on November 10, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    @ Ohmatty - We indian respect Dale Steyn because he performed in india and we had some seriosu business with him when he was bowling in india in recent tours. But Bresnan? LOL pop forget things very easily, and the way Kohli and co thrashed bresnan everywhere, i dont see him comparing with the greatness of Dale Steyn.

  • boris6491 on November 10, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    People's complaints about Clarke have not been because he is the captain or because people in general don't like him. It's always been because we know he is capable of more, we know he can be the pillar of consistency and can rise up to the challenge, he has the talent for sure. For the first time in years, I've seen him do so with two sensational innings in the last two games. I can remember now why the new guy with spiky blonde hair who made a century on debut in 2004 in India became my favourite player at the time. I hope this continues.

  • Romenevans on November 10, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    @ OhhhhMattyMatty - LOL your bresnnan couldn't do a thing against Kohli and co's what you expect him to do against pup? Well played pup!

  • Pablo123 on November 10, 2011, 7:35 GMT

    Yup it was his best because he was fighting the best bowlers in the world on a wicket they were using to their advantage - very fiery spells from Morkel, Philander & Steyn. Good one Michael, lets just hope the Saffers get you and you buds out early today so we can build a considerable lead. Can't wait to see Jacques Rudolph perform again. The guy has top scored in two County seasons and has top scored in First Class South African cricket since his return. So nice to see the SA selectors picking on merit and performance for a change !

  • popcorn on November 10, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    Michael Clarke has TRULY arrived as Captain.Will the detractors shut up and listen? Note what I have ALWEAYS been saying - his BEST batting position is Number 5 - where he has scored the Maximum runs and Centuries - where he brought himself back to in the third Test against Sri Lanka and scored a fighting Century. And now a back to back century. Even after Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey retire, I hope he will stay at No.5. Like Steve Waugh did. Usman Khaja can bat at No.4 or 6.Hopefully,George Bailey or Callum Ferguson can take the other slot.

  • cricket_ftw on November 10, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Im not sure if he will play a similar innings again.

  • sudhar.n87 on November 10, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    @Ragavasimhan - Sounds like a perfect Aussie fan. If conditions eases out, then the Aussies have a huge mountain to climb.

  • orangtan on November 10, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Boy oh boy, Test cricket, the real McCoy, not the hit and giggle T20 or the predictable ODIs where bowlers just turn up to be "wided" and no-balled. Super-aggressive fast swinging, leaping bowling, and a master-class from Michael Clarke, waiting for the 140+ kph balls to swing and then slamming them ever so fiercely. Clarkey's done it for Oz, they will win this Test.

  • Ragavasimhan on November 10, 2011, 6:41 GMT

    @sudhar.n87 Well said, clarke's innings is such a flawless one and he proved his class with back to back ton. The pity thing is that conditions will improve from Day2 onwards which will favour Proteas. Still I believe if Aussies knock out Proteas trio (Amla Kallis Smith) with not 100% fit AB to play, Aussie can still take 1st innings lead.

  • on November 10, 2011, 6:01 GMT

    Pup seems to be growing into a top dog. ( Note: didn't say 'grown'). Seems to be maturing from his apparently clownish young days (Note: Din't say 'matured'). Congrats. And keep it up, Pup!

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 10, 2011, 5:38 GMT

    That sure was a classy 100!!! Lets see how far Clarky take this total to and how AUS do in this test. Awesome to watch a batsman stand up in those conditions...

  • EddieGilbert on November 10, 2011, 5:35 GMT

    Michael Clarke the fighter. Wow. An amazing innings. Is there anything better in test cricket than a class batsmen playing true cricket shots while the ball zips all over the place at 145+ from one of the greatest fast bowlers in history?? Australian cricket is in good hands. So much talent waiting in the wings. The Clarke era looks filled with possibilities, Cummins is just the beginning, wait till Marsh jr arrives

  • RandyOZ on November 10, 2011, 5:17 GMT

    SA are really good considering they have to develop two international teams

  • Kogul_Pwnzer on November 10, 2011, 4:50 GMT

    Clarke has truly arrived as captain.This innings was tough as nails as would see from anyone. i am sure the rest of the team would be inspired by his performance. With all due respect to the Indian bowlers, i think it'll be tough for them to get 20 wickets in Oz tour and playing in tracks like Kotla re not gonna help the batsmen as well. @OhhhMattyMatty : The English attack is really good , maybe even better than SA attack but then individually Steyn will pwn anyone in the English side.

  • Rahul_78 on November 10, 2011, 4:42 GMT

    It is too early to say but I wont be surprised if this knock leads OZ to not even test win but an overall series win against Proteas who are terribly under cooked as they haven't played test cricket for almost a year. The conditions and pitch are not going to get any better as time passes on in this test match. One of the few innings of the saying "Leading by the example"!

  • RadheshTR on November 10, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    Surely Clarke's best innings yet. Repsect for him has grown after seeing the knock he played yesterday. Positive and took the attack to the opposition. Any innings of such quality against the likes of Steyn n Morkel are a treat to watch.

  • satish619chandar on November 10, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    This is one awesome innings and it d stay in mind ever.. In his first 30 balls, he looked like getting out anytime.. It ll be too harsh to demand a defensive innings against this attack under these conditions!! Once he decided to put away the deliveries even a bit off the target, it was a different game altogether!! Just wondered why the lower order didn't support him and tried to hit it on their own when he is in full form.. If the end result doesnt go to Aussies, this would be the reason..

  • dongles on November 10, 2011, 4:18 GMT

    Good article Brydon and I agree with the essence. Cartainly Clarke's best innings and vital in establishing himself in the role. I think it's a bit hard to suggest that Clarke has never played a great innings before! How about his very first innings - 151 in India, to set the platform to win the Test and the series in India for how many decades. Or how about the 136 at Lord's in 2009. You could argue it was in an almost lost cause but what an innings!

  • sudhar.n87 on November 10, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Guess, this is Clarke's best innings. This becomes more more special since it was made in tougher conditions against arguably one of the best fast bowling unit. 250 would make a par score unless the conditions changes too dramatically over the next few days.

  • on November 10, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Well done Captain Michael Clarke ... ... Sincere congrats mate

  • on November 10, 2011, 3:27 GMT

    clarkes best innings in his career by a long way. England are a good side, SA are a good side, Australia are a good side, India are a good side. None of these teams are great though. they are not the WI's of the 80's or the Australians of the late 90's early 2000's. they are all close sides with a couple of great players in them. Dale Steyn is the best fast bowler in the world and has been for a few years now. As an Aussie, he is the only bowler in the world i feel uncomfortable watching playing australia, because i think he can knock over all of them. Exciting times for australian cricket, with good young players coming into the side and so much talent waiting, like mitchell marsh. gee if he can imrpove his batting Wow what a cricketer he will be. Dave warner is close to the most inform batsman in australia, then there is cummins and other excellent young quicks. still only problem is finding a world class spinner, although i think Steve O'keefe is still the best option

  • on November 10, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Poms seem to forget that before Pups back injury in late 2009 which cruelled him for nearly eighteen months, the lad averaged 50 at test level and was just about batsman of the series with two centuries in the 2009 Ashes series. I agree with the Indians on this forum, the way Bresnan was manhandled by Kohli and co recently, it will be interesting to see if he can rediscover his confidence much less be compared to the great Dale Steyn.

  • jk.jeetukakwani on November 10, 2011, 2:21 GMT

    by far, it is clarke's best inning of the carrier.it was like dat he was betting on a different wicket n all others were on a different.best example of leading from the front.haven't seen a superb inning on a lively wicket since ages.these aus/afrrica contest always produces best cricket of the world. what a delight to watch test cricket at its best..white dress,red cherry,sleep cordans,swinging pitch n 2 world's best team. i was so bored,watching those meaningless t20 ipl n all..well played clarke n long live test cricket(n offcourse, h a t e t20 cricket)

  • Meety on November 10, 2011, 1:54 GMT

    @Peterincanada "...It was a good toss to win but I hope the conditions remain the same for both sides.." I hope for that too! The weather seems to play a large part in the nature of Newlands' pitch. That being said - if it is fine & sunny on Day 2, the Boys in the Baggy Green just need to staunch up & have a crack. I would love to see if Harris could reproduce Steyn's efforts under cloudy skies though! @Dravid_Gravitas - agreed, but the Saffas on that pitch were pretty red-hot!

  • johnnycash on November 10, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Fantastic knock from the captain. In trouble early then positive to fight out of it. Steyn bowled very well but i wonder, after serving up an over a true class and ferocity, which would have troubled any batsman in todays game, why go for the fuller length next over when the batsman was in obvious trouble with the short ball? The Windies of old would not have taken the hand from the throat. I think this shows a difference in eras, and maybe in todays test cricket to that of the 80's. Do South Africa lack that 'killer instinct'? Will be interesting to see the rest of this game and whether the sun comes out today. Then we will really see the Aussies having to fight with the ball. Seems like a Ryan Harris type of pitch to me.

  • Ben1989 on November 10, 2011, 1:17 GMT

    @ohhmatty, as per everyone else's reply, steyn is the best bowler in the world hands down, so saying he has to prove hinself against bresnan & co first is just ridiculous, you poms really are getting a bit to keen so early, practically saying all your bowlers are better than steyn.... HAHA!!! don't see jimmy hitting 150clicks & steyn still does more with the ball..

  • Bone101 on November 9, 2011, 23:54 GMT

    This was definitely Clarke's best innings to date. Superb stuff!

  • kickittome70 on November 9, 2011, 23:48 GMT

    For a bloke who's averaged less than 15 in first innings over the last 12 months, it's great to see an authoritative innings from Pup. In my opinion, he is a far more intuitive and creative skipper than Ponting (his field settings and bowling changes are flawless), it's just that hitherto, his batsmanship has lacked that grittiness that Australians demand in a captain. He's addressing that now, which is great to see. He was superb yesterday in Newlands. He just needs to start winning a few tosses and he's on the right track. Why a skipper would call tails all the time is beyond me? :) Great work pup. You have turned my attitude to your side and I have played and captained club cricket for 20 years. I was a bit skeptical of you up till last night. Warnie is a great mentor and you could do worse than use him as a sounding board for ideas.

  • jkaussie on November 9, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    How good is test cricket when it's like this? A first day pitch with some juice, great bowling, batters working really hard (only Haddin really played a bad shot, the rest were done with good to great deliveries) and a score that means a result is a definite. I know it comes under scutiny but the Sydney test against Pak was like this because of a small 1st innings score. I just hope the weather stays the same and the pitch still has some life in it!

  • smudgeon on November 9, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    I've never nee a huge Clarke fan, but it seems the captaincy (even if it's still early days) is going to be the making of him, and it sits well on his shoulders. A captain needs to lead from the front when the pressure is on, and it's great to see him rise to the challenge under testing conditions. Take note, T20 up-and-comers, this is how you should bat in test cricket. On another note, Punter's pull for six was vintage Punter - shame he didn't go on with it for a bit longer, but full credit to the SA bowlers who worried the Aussie batsmen from ball one. A few of Steyn's early deliveries turned off the pitch like leg breaks (only slight exaggeration) - not much you can do against that at 145km/h!

  • orangtan on November 9, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    Much rather Clarke than the likes of the jingoistic Simon Katich.

  • Marcio on November 9, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    An excellent knock indeed. With drizzle, a pitch with green patches and visible cracks, huge movement in the air and off the pitch , as well as bounce against Steyne and Morkel - AUS could have been bowled out for under 100. No disrespect to Steyne's saying he has his zip back, the Indian attack would have been a handful on that track. Under those circumstances Clarke's innings was indeed great. Let's face it, any batsman needed a lot of luck to get runs in those conditions, but Clarke took his chances. Unfortunately for the AAS bowlers the forecast us for sunshine on day two, so conditions will be easier for SA batsmen. 250 is a good score under these conditions, 300 excellent.

  • Wozza-CY on November 9, 2011, 22:46 GMT

    Surely his maiden century in India was great?

  • Raju_Iyer on November 9, 2011, 22:41 GMT

    India had started their previous tour to SA similarly and eventually went on to square the series. Here's hoping Australia does the same! Wonderful effort from Pup though I can't see the connection between this and not playing in the IPL / Champions League. We can look forward to some interesting battles when India tour Australia later this year. Long live Test cricket which continues to have its own charm and fan following.

  • pk_brisbane on November 9, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    To OhhhhMattyMatty - Credit where credit is due mate. Eng may be best in the world, and anderson and co are very special, but dale steyn is as good as any fast bowler in tests since mcgrath. to get through his spell, and through morkel in the manner which he did is worth applauding, even for non-clarke fans.

  • RandyOZ on November 9, 2011, 21:58 GMT

    I officially rescind my comments about Clarke. This was a stunning innings, I am full of admiration. Under pressure, and perfect. I hope he keeps it up, this is what I have wanted to see in Clarke the captain in a long time. Without doubt his greatest innings. @OhhhhMattyMatty, Bresnan would be lucky to get another cap the way he was carted around India!

  • Mitcher on November 9, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    @OhhhhMattyMatty: England's attack is no doubt very good. But I think you'll have to wait a wee little while to start declaring them the ultimate yardstick of a batsman's class. Anyway, I think any sane person would take Steyn over any indidividual in the English attack.

  • SRT_GENIUS on November 9, 2011, 21:52 GMT

    Excellent century, but err.... his ability to bat/apply was never under doubt. The real question is : does he command the respect of the team and does he really care for the team and winning ? Jury is still out on that.

  • landl47 on November 9, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    A very plucky innings, after he could have been out to almost every ball for the first few overs. It was great to see him meet the SA attack with a counter-attack and, best of all, every shot was a proper cricket shot, rather than the cross-batted slogs we see from batsmen brought up in the T20 era. A real captain's knock.

  • King_Khawaja on November 9, 2011, 21:42 GMT

    @Trapper439: It was a fantastic innings precisely because Steyn gave him a working over early on. That over by Steyn was special, and Clarke's straight drive in response was the mark of a champion.

  • hhillbumper on November 9, 2011, 21:36 GMT

    it was a good innings and the pitch was not that bad and the bowlers were a bit ring rusty.What about the rest of the innings though?

  • Equaliser on November 9, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    Never liked him, never really rated him. Have to now - that was an outstanding innings under extreme pressure. Well done, do you think you could get some laser surgery to remove that graffiti?

  • Scgboy on November 9, 2011, 21:20 GMT

    Preforming when your team is under the pump , is the definition of a true captains knock.give him credit for this , because hes earned it.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 9, 2011, 21:19 GMT

    Wow! very well played Clarke. Amazing innings! Sadly, Ponting isn't doing himself any favours with all these poor outings. Good luck to Ponting. Hope he succeeds in this series. It's heart breaking to see a Legend suffer like this. Hope he makes one final statement with his bat in this series and calls it a day on his own accord. Time is running out.

  • AdoSR on November 9, 2011, 21:08 GMT

    C'Mon @OhhhhMattyMatty. England fans are becoming like Indian fans. Are you really suggesing that Steyne, Morkel and Philander bowling Jaffas on a sweating greentop isn't a challenge when compared to the mighty English attack? England are a good side. SA are a good side. Neither are the WI of the '80s. You don't have to play England to prove yourself. You merely have to play well. Pup played well.

  • rayfanatics on November 9, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    @ OhhhhMattyMatty, Bresnan and bits after being obliterated by Kohli and company, you think Pup is going to have any trouble dismantling England's overhyped attack. Ashes 2013 is for the Oz.

  • Trapper439 on November 9, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    The captaincy seems to suit him. Fantastic innings, despite Steyn giving him a working over early on.

  • straight_drive4 on November 9, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    what a great innings. no longer can anybody dribble "ohh he doesnt perform under pressure". anybody who says that now clearly has verbal diarrea. well done pup - youve given australia a chance in this game - that should keep all the knockers at bay. this is the man to lead australia. sorry punter, but youre time is done.

  • on November 9, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    He played a pretty good innings at Lords in 2009.

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 9, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    Decent knock. But he must do it against Bresnan and co first.

  • Beertjie on November 9, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Go you good thing! we need every run to-morrow. And a bit of luck to stick it to the Saffers as well.

  • Peterincanada on November 9, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    This was his finest innings by far. I knew he could always play spin but he showed he could play pace on a dodgy track which is a new dimension. His ability to forget about the times he was beaten especially by Steyn and focus on the next ball reminded me of Border and S Waugh. He then began to add shots that made him actually dominate. Without him SA would be batting already and needing only about 100 for a first innings lead. It was a good toss to win but I hope the conditions remain the same for both sides. Test cricket at its finest.

  • Blazedragon on November 9, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    The part about his last 2 tons being the only "truly great" ones is funny. Mostly every tons special at the moment they are scored.

  • on November 9, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    truly a great innings!!

  • on November 9, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    well done pup...... that is what you call to lead from the front....... go well!

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  • on November 9, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    well done pup...... that is what you call to lead from the front....... go well!

  • on November 9, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    truly a great innings!!

  • Blazedragon on November 9, 2011, 19:59 GMT

    The part about his last 2 tons being the only "truly great" ones is funny. Mostly every tons special at the moment they are scored.

  • Peterincanada on November 9, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    This was his finest innings by far. I knew he could always play spin but he showed he could play pace on a dodgy track which is a new dimension. His ability to forget about the times he was beaten especially by Steyn and focus on the next ball reminded me of Border and S Waugh. He then began to add shots that made him actually dominate. Without him SA would be batting already and needing only about 100 for a first innings lead. It was a good toss to win but I hope the conditions remain the same for both sides. Test cricket at its finest.

  • Beertjie on November 9, 2011, 20:20 GMT

    Go you good thing! we need every run to-morrow. And a bit of luck to stick it to the Saffers as well.

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 9, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    Decent knock. But he must do it against Bresnan and co first.

  • on November 9, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    He played a pretty good innings at Lords in 2009.

  • straight_drive4 on November 9, 2011, 20:50 GMT

    what a great innings. no longer can anybody dribble "ohh he doesnt perform under pressure". anybody who says that now clearly has verbal diarrea. well done pup - youve given australia a chance in this game - that should keep all the knockers at bay. this is the man to lead australia. sorry punter, but youre time is done.

  • Trapper439 on November 9, 2011, 20:52 GMT

    The captaincy seems to suit him. Fantastic innings, despite Steyn giving him a working over early on.

  • rayfanatics on November 9, 2011, 21:03 GMT

    @ OhhhhMattyMatty, Bresnan and bits after being obliterated by Kohli and company, you think Pup is going to have any trouble dismantling England's overhyped attack. Ashes 2013 is for the Oz.