Clarke's first as Ashes captain and Broad's wait
Stats highlights from the first day at Old Trafford
- This was Michael Clarke's fifth Ashes century and first as captain. It took 12 Tests and 22 innings for an Australia captain to hit a century in the Ashes since Ricky Ponting scored 150 at Cardiff in 2009. This was also the first hundred by an Australia batsman in six Tests. The last was also by Clarke, against India in Chennai in February this year.
- This was Clarke's first century batting at No.4 in 33 Test innings. In 32 innings before this one at No. 4, Clarke had scored 667 runs at an average of 21.51, with four half-centuries. Clarke's highest score at No. 4 before this innings was 80, also against England, at Adelaide Oval. This was also the first overseas century by an Australia No. 4 since Michael Hussey's 121 against England at The Oval in 2009. Between these two innings Australia's No. 4 averaged a paltry 20.31 from 38 innings with only five fifty-plus scores.
- Clarke is now level with Bob Simpson with ten Test hundreds as captain. Ricky Ponting heads the list with 19 hundreds. Clarke now has 24 Test centuries and has joined Greg Chappell in sixth place in the list of Australia batsmen with most Test centuries.
- Given that Clarke has been dismissed seven times in Tests by James Anderson, it wasn't a surprise that he was most watchful against him in this innings, scoring only 16 off 38 balls, his lowest strike rate against a bowler. This is already the most balls he has faced from Anderson in a Test innings. He played exactly 38 balls from Stuart Broad too, but scored more than twice as many - 33. Clarke also handled Graeme Swann's offspin superbly, using his feet well to score 44 off 76 balls.
- Chris Rogers' 84 fell two runs short of Ed Cowan's 86 against India in Mohali in March this year, which is the highest score by an Australia opener in the last 10 Tests. Australia have now gone 21 innings without a century from their openers. The last time one of their openers scored a century was David Warner's 119 against South Africa in Adelaide in November 2012.
- The 174-run unbeaten partnership between Clarke and Steven Smith is only the second hundred partnership for Australia in this Ashes. This partnership is now their highest in this series beating the record tenth wicket partnership of 163 runs put on by Phillip Hughes and Ashton Agar in the Nottingham Test. This partnership is also now the highest fourth wicket partnership at Old Trafford in the Ashes, beating the previous best of 173 by Neil Harvey and Graeme Hole in 1953.
- This was the first time in 15 innings that Australia crossed 300 runs before the fall of their fourth wicket. The last such instance for Australia came against Sri Lanka at the MCG in 2012. Before this innings, Australia hadn't added 200 runs before the fall of their fourth wicket in their last 12 innings.
- Stuart Broad needs just one wicket to become the 15th England bowler to take 200 Test wickets but he has been made to work for it. Broad has now bowled 45 overs and conceded 140 runs without adding to his tally of wickets since he dismissed Clarke in the first innings of the Lord's Test.
Shiva Jayaraman is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo
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