West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Bridgetown, 5th day

Clarke finds inspiration from Adelaide '06 heist

Daniel Brettig at Kensington Oval

April 12, 2012

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Peter Siddle, Michael Hussey and Matthew Wade acknowledge the crowd after Australia's win, West Indies v Australia, 1st Test, Barbados, 5th day, April 11, 2012
Michael Clarke: "We're seeing some old hands and some old legs still pulling tricks out of the bag to help us win games" © Associated Press
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Michael Clarke's belief that the Bridgetown Test match could be won was forged six years ago in the middle of Adelaide Oval. He had been joined at the wicket by Shane Warne, Australia struggling for first innings parity with England on the fourth day of what seemed destined to be a drawn Ashes Test. Simply and clearly, Warne told Clarke the match would be won. On a scarcely believable final day, it was.

Clarke carried that memory with him throughout the first Test against the West Indies, and echoed Warne in assuring his team that the Barbados match remained within their grasp. After a mighty struggle over the final two days, the visitors dragged themselves up from a position every bit as dire as the one occupied by Australia against England in 2006, and another remarkable victory was secured. It made Clarke only the second captain in the history of Test cricket to win a match after declaring behind.

"I remember Warney telling me back then that with a day and a half left in the Test match that we would win the game and I was trying to work out how," Clarke said of 2006. "At best surely we'd get a draw but he had no doubt in his mind. For me as a young player I thought 'right-o, that's my attitude, I'm going to win'. A few years on and I'm in the change rooms telling the boys we're going to win this Test match. Hopefully a few of them believed me the way I believed Warney back then.

"It shows, if you have that self-belief and belief in the inner sanctum and the guys that sit beside you that you find ways. That was the main thing I said to the boys today. I know it's tough, I know we're tired, I know there's going to be issues of the foot marks, I know it's going to be a tough run chase but find a way. Everyone and individually as a team we've got to find a way and we'll win this Test match. Credit to the boys, they certainly found a way."

Australia are building a team to be reckoned with under Clarke, and he had little hesitation declaring the Bridgetown result the equal of any he had enjoyed. It was as much a victory over the conditions and late season lethargy as the opposition, a West Indies team that is gathering discipline, skill and experience but is still learning how to fight out the critical phases of a Test.

"A just reward for hanging in, the team showing true character and fight and not giving up," Clarke said. "I think whatever happened this afternoon, whether we won the game, drew the game or lost the game, I think we certainly showed a lot of fight, a lot of character. We tried to win the Test.

"We did everything we could to try and win the Test match and it's very, very rewarding now sitting in the change rooms with that bunch of boys that we got the result we were after…after a lot of hard work, a couple of days with, I guess, our backs to the wall. But to be able to fight and get a result like that, that's as special a win as I've had in my career.

"This is as good as I've had, no doubt, because we had our backs to the wall for the first three days of the game. And the spirit and the character, I guess of the guys in the change room is what drives you, I guess, as a captain to make a bold decision, to declare when I declared. The confidence around me from everybody in that group, there wasn't one bit of fear of losing that Test match, it wasn't spoken about.

"From day one of the Test all that's been spoken about is what we have to do to win this Test match. And a lot of time it's easier said than done, especially when a team gets 450 on the board in the first two days, you get some time taken out of the game with the light, so full credit to every single player and support staff person in that change room."

The Australian team is beginning to bear the stamp of Clarke - relentlessly positive, adventurous, tactically agile and skillful. He said the team was learning more about how to best operate under pressure, meaning the lapses that occurred in Cape Town against South Africa and Hobart against New Zealand are now growing less likely to occur. It is also benefiting from the balance between the brash youth of David Warner, and the poise of older heads like Michael Hussey, so calm in the chase as he had been in Adelaide six years ago.

"I think we are just learning more and more about each other every day, especially under pressure," Clarke said. "We're working out what guys require to perform their best under pressure. We're seeing guys stand up when they get an opportunity to play Test cricket. We're seeing some old hands and some old legs still pulling tricks out of the bag to help us win games and Huss is a great example of that.

"We're putting in really good team performances. You're not going to be successful individually every single time you walk out to bat or walk out to bowl. But I think the team we have at the moment, the players we have around the group at the moment aren't bothered about themselves. They care most about the team winning and doing whatever they can to contribute to success. In my mind, there's no coincidence the team's doing well because we're all putting the team first."

Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (April 15, 2012, 18:24 GMT)

@Meety, :). Thanks bro. We love the game of cricket. Don't we? Some of us are fans of those who play it, who play it with purpose and integrity, for the team, as opposed to for personal milestones. Clarke personifies that spirit of a team game. All the more reason such players with integrity are the ones that should be leading the team. It puts a check on players who play for personal milestones with blatant disregard for team goals. I see that some Aussies don't respect Clarke. Well, I would be glad to give him Indian Citizenship, Captaincy of the Indian team and send Sachin to play for Australia on any day. No two ways about it.

Posted by Meety on (April 15, 2012, 0:58 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas - I've always felt you held the torch of reason in a sea of wildness amongst your compatriots. About the only thing I ever truly disagreed with you on is the difference between the Great WIndies sides v Ozz greats - & that was healthy!

Posted by Harry_Kool on (April 14, 2012, 13:54 GMT)

@Giovaughn Wilson. yes they did, but England took over the #1 spot after the 3rd test, so the 4th test India was actually #2 (and beginning their freefall that will take them down to # by year end). But I can see why you asked the question.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 11:39 GMT)

@ harry kool - didnt England white wash India when they were number 1 in test cricket just last year?

Posted by JG2704 on (April 14, 2012, 10:11 GMT)

@Rooboy on (April 13 2012, 07:35 AM GMT) Re captaincy - I feel one of the best philosophies is to lead by example. Clarke is certainly not an in your face sort of captain , but the fact that he has become the best batsman in the world since he became captain has obviously inspired him and he certainly is leading by example. I still think the declaration - although maybe obvious in hindsight - and the timing of it was inspired. I don't feel that Aus have the depth of talent that Ponting and other captains had at their disposal so for Clarke to do what he has been doing with the side I have to give him full credit

Posted by Harry_Kool on (April 14, 2012, 8:59 GMT)

@Trickstar. yes, we beat #8 but they are a team on the improve, & as been pointed out below, your lot got towelled by the #5, the first time a #1 ranked team has been clean sheeted. Well done, but not an ususual occurence as it does recall shades of the 5-0 blot of 06/07 eh? Also pal, your lot lost to the Windies last time they toured there!

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (April 14, 2012, 8:09 GMT)

@Chris_P, thanks for quoting me. If you followed my comments during our 4-0 drubbing by Australia, you would know how effusive I was in praising Aussies especially Clarke, Hussey, Ponting and all the pace bowlers. Michael Clarke, honestly, has nothing to prove, in any format. I just want him to silence his critics one more time. I really hope some of his freshness and the priceless attitude to play for the team and not for milestones rubs onto some of his Indian Team mates in IPL. I was elated when I came to know that Clarke is going to play IPL. Watching Clarke bat and observing the way he leads his team in itself a surreal learning experience for me as an Indian. To think that some Indians will rub shoulders with him, I can't be much happier than this. Ganguly and Clarke in one team - that will be a wealth of experience for many Indians.

Posted by SlightlyIntoCricket on (April 14, 2012, 3:50 GMT)

@Trickstar, better than being the world number 1 team and being whitewashed in an away test series

Posted by RandyOZ on (April 14, 2012, 1:36 GMT)

The English are absolutely shaking in their boots at the moment. They've just come off the back of a 4-0 drubbing, and Australia has won 8 of the last 11 tests its played. The good old days are coming back boys!

Posted by BillyCC on (April 13, 2012, 22:44 GMT)

@Chithsabesh, agree, Australia needs to beat England and Pakistan and South Africa and India in India in the next two years and then I'm pretty sure by the nature of the rankings that they will be back to number one. Otherwise the team will hover around top three but not reach number one. The other way is to rely on other results and get to number one by stealth which is pretty much what India did when they were not losing series and drawing a few and other teams lost series.

Posted by Kernas on (April 13, 2012, 22:08 GMT)

tests-the-best - he declared behind to have a crack at a nervous and tired WI team and took 3 wickets.

Posted by Drew12 on (April 13, 2012, 15:56 GMT)

@jplterrors in your group maybe but I keep Ponting in my side. Perhaps not at 3, but certainly Watson not at 3. Watson needs to be down the order, run out no. 8 or 9, not 4 or 5. Since Clarke doesn't seem to want it (too much risk of getting out perhaps in the mind set of tendalkar) then why not Wade. If that is too much of a risk then why not Ponting?

Posted by tests_the_best on (April 13, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

how about this? for all the credit heaped on clarke for a bold declaration (and rightly so) maybe he could have done better. instead of declaring, he could have sent out a message to the last pair to hammer around as much as they can for another 5 overs. if they fail soon and get out, he was going to declare anyway, but if they got another quick 30 runs, those runs at a much higher scoring rate could have been far more useful than the runs accumulated by aus at a slower rate in the 2nd innings. maybe he missed a trick? it seems to me that the only time declaring from behind makes sense is when you want to exploit the bowling conditions available (e.g. start of day's play or last 30 min of day's play)

Posted by popcorn on (April 13, 2012, 12:47 GMT)

Not enough credit has been given to Ricky Ponting, the Captain of the Come -From - Behind Victory by Australia at The Adelaide Ashes Test 2006 for his inspired bowling changes,the glint in his eye,and the ALWAYS can win attitude. And to Mike Hussey. At the Adelaide Oval 2006,it was Mike Hussey who carried Australia home, as he did at Barbados.This is a brilliant Team led by an imaginative Captain who backs his bowlers to deliver - and ho9w they did! Hilfy's triple strikes, Harri8s getting the Wall Chanderpaul out, and the lower order batsmen whoreduced the gap between Australia and West Indies. The Rest of the World - beware. The New Australia have arrived. Go Aussies,go!

Posted by Dr.Vindaloo on (April 13, 2012, 11:53 GMT)

Seems like a lot happens in that Aussie 'change room'.

Posted by Meety on (April 13, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

@Trapper439 - loved the bit you said about "...I'm leaving aside for the sake of simplicity the fact that I sadly never had any actual cricketing talent..." - that's gold.

Posted by Meety on (April 13, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

@Rooboy - no arguements there (Waugh v Warne). Warney will go down as the greatest Test skipper we never had. Just on Punter's captaincy, I think Punter had a split personality as captain. In ODIs - I thought he was brilliant, he marshalled the troops brilliantly, probably didn't have Taylor's quirky touches, but his use of Brett Lee was usually brilliant. Then there is Punter the test captain - if only he went with his nickname a bit more! That test in India where he bowled part timers because of over rates, fluffing around in Cardiff ets. However, I don't blame his captaincy for the home Ashes loss, I think Nielsen was too much in his ear (IMO). I had the sense that in the 5th test - Clarke was trying to distance the team from the negative way we played (particularly batting wise). Anyways, I am stoked for Clarke, because I have always rated him & knew he'd be a captain as noteworthy as Taylor (based on his T20/ODI captaincy). Always thought he was unfairly viewed by Oz fans.

Posted by Erebus26 on (April 13, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

I see Clarke himself is his biggest self-publicist again. The credit for this victory doesn't go to his 'brave' captaincy but to his pace bowlers who managed to bowl the Windies out cheaply in their second innings, in addition to the valuable runs they provided down the order in Australia's first innings. Without their contributions Australia wouldn't have been anywhere close to winning this test.

Posted by jplterrors on (April 13, 2012, 8:56 GMT)

Firstly great win by Clarke he chose his moment perfectly to declare, Oz however has some serious question marks over the batting. We all know theres a push to get Punter out of the team and this will be his last series, does leave the batting a bit fragile, and the bowling at times a much of a muchness. They wont get the ashes back next time but are looking gd 2 reclaim them when its next in Oz.

Posted by Rooboy on (April 13, 2012, 7:35 GMT)

@Meety - agree with that. Never been a massive Clarke fan (probably unfairly ... I like my Aussie cricketers in the tough traditional mould of Boonie, AB, Chappelli etc, but Clarke is of a different generation I guess), but I can't be anything other than highly impressed with his captaincy. Funnily enough, I am a huge Ponting fan but thought he was not a good captain, he'd lead from the front and drag his team with him but his tactics weren't great. Clarke is just prepared to try something a bit different ... I think Hussey has got more wickets under Clarke's leadership than he had overs under Ponting lol. Yeah this is probably the closest we'll get to seeing what Warnie would have been like as a Test skipper. Having said that, I can't really argue with the decision to appoint Waugh ahead of Warne, given his captaincy record! The styles do contrast though, hard edged pure professionalism of Tugga vs probably the left field flamboyance of Warne. Would have been interesting ...

Posted by Trapper439 on (April 13, 2012, 7:22 GMT)

As an Aussie fan, I can remember being quite disgusted with some of the negative Aussie bowling during that Adelaide Test. Warne himself was bowling a couple of feet outside leg stump against Pietersen at one time in the first innings. I thought he was an idiot for doing so, but obviously I was wrong. The attitude that Warne displayed back then, which Clarke is also displaying now, may not always come across as attacking cricket, but that's why these guys are in the Test team and I'm not (I'm leaving aside for the sake of simplicity the fact that I sadly never had any actual cricketing talent). Clarke is turning out to be a much better captain than I'd expected, or even hoped he would be. Personally I think that Clarke is captaining in the same mould as Mark Taylor. And I mean that as a massive compliment, because I'd put Taylor in my all-time Aussie team just for his captaincy skills, a bit like the way an English fan might select Brearley in their all-time team for the same reason.

Posted by The_bowlers_Holding on (April 13, 2012, 7:12 GMT)

Yes Wefinishthis some of what you say is undoubtably true eg. McGrath injury but that is test cricket and to use a Yorkshire adage "If your Aunty was a man she'd be your uncle". This was a good win when a draw seemed certain but lets not all get ahead of ourselves this West Indian side is generally limited.

Posted by azzaman333 on (April 13, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

Clarke is a special captain. Hopefully the batting talent comes in for him to stamp his claim as being one of the greatest captains of all time, because he's certainly got a massive lift from the bowlers over what was happening with Ponting at the helm.

Posted by Rooboy on (April 13, 2012, 5:56 GMT)

@Bijendra Sinha - huh?!? In Bangladesh's debut Test, India were bowled out in the first innings with a 29 run lead ... which means they did not declare, and they did not concede a first innings lead. I am told that England is the only other team to ever win a Test after declaring behind on the first innings, in 1935. But your post is spot on apart from being factually incorrect. I guess it's called gutsy when the Aus team does it because they actually did it, whereas india don't get the same recognition because a lot of things their fans claim happened, only happened in their imaginations ...

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

@Billycc it has to beat Pakistan.Interesting to see how they will play Ajmal and co.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

@chris sun :Matey you are missing out on one thing...the invincibles and the 2006/07 aus teams were already the most dominant and the greatest test teams of their time.Whereas Clarke has have to build a team from scratch.And I would say he has done a terrific job till now.So what if he has not gone on to win the series with landslides,but still a terrific job.(I wish we cud also learn from clarkey..)

Posted by Meety on (April 13, 2012, 5:31 GMT)

@Rooboy - I've said it a few times now, I reckon in Pup, we have the best glimpse of what the Oz cricket side would of been like if captained by Warney! Warne certainly took a liking to Pup & you can see that Warne made a big impression on Clarke. == == == @yorkshirematt - goes both ways, I know there are a few of my countrymen who like to pop up & give their 5 cents worth on Pommy sites, the funny thing is though - there really is only TWO who do it, & IMO (whilst I find it mildly humorous) they certainly get a few of your boys panties in a twist! LOL! I have viewed articles where the usual subjects make say a nine word comment (estimated time of typing 30 seconds maybe), & they get about 25 responses ranging from clever wit to down right hysterical whining! Priceless!

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 5:08 GMT)

Credit to M.Clarke when it is due . Well done to all . We know how the Windies would be feeling because it has happened to the Ozzies before , and not just once . I may be perceiving that M.Clarke knows it is best to put all your belief into the capabilities of your team , rather than comparing their abilities as to being lesser than that of the Captain's . I think R.Ponting may have been under the misapprehension that HE had to win the much off his own bat , because he was the most talented player in the team . Not so much early in his career , but certainly in the latter stages , when he wasn't the World's Best Cricketer . Run outs are a part of the game that no batsman likes but , after 14 runs in the second dig a big effort is needed with only 4 innings left in this Series , Test match runs are what count .

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Australia were on top of the world in 06/07 ashes with their 5-0 whitewash. What about all other matches where Australia lost? They didn't always win everything. It was always 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 whitewashes and now people are talking that Clarke is a great captain and this team is the greatest. Well it is not as great the Invincible's of 1948 and Dominator's of 1999-2007. Clarke has only won 2 tests series out of 4 with the other two drawn (pity they were two test series). But 5 wins in a row is an achievement for Clarke, so is declaring behind. People expect to see more of that from Clarke.

Posted by ForTheLuvofCricket on (April 13, 2012, 3:32 GMT)

Aussies - you beauties! I am an Indian fan, love my cricket team, despite all our shortcomings. But, gotta hand it to the Aussies. Class apart, even when rebuilding. Heart does go out to the Windies, because I do want them to come back stronger, for the good of the game. But, great job Aussies.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 2:53 GMT)

whts the bravery in ths..,? what they r caling gusty dclaration by clark.,it has already done a decade ago by our Best cptain Dada in Bangladesh in its debue game as test crcket nation. and i dnt thnk Bngladesh's perfrmance in the said test was any less as they too had scored 400+ in thr first inngs..its just our percption tht if Aussies do it then its called Gusty and othrs dnt get even rcognition at all..

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 1:52 GMT)

whatever someone says but Aussies have to look for good young reliable batsmen sooner as their batting is yet to click big time like during their golden days

Posted by Rooboy on (April 13, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

@Arjun Krishnamurthy-I agree, Adelaide was more special. Not because it was the Ashes, during my lifetime that has been one of the easiest series to win, but because even after the first hour of the last day there was still really only one possible result (draw). But then that man Warne decided Aus would win and the rest was quite special. I was also fortunate to be there for a couple of days, as well as the final 2 hours of the Aus run chase, and it's not something I'll ever forget .. watching McGrath and Warne (and the rest) come out to the boundary to thank the crowd, I didn't realise it would be the last time I saw them live on a cricket ground. @Damo_s -you're wasting your time, unless you have nothing better to do. I think most Aussie fans would be more likely to laugh at the childish nature of your comments than to feel 'ribbed'. I agree Aus aren't a great side yet, and the batting remains a worry, but it is not deluded to feel something possibly great is building with this team

Posted by sportofpain on (April 13, 2012, 1:42 GMT)

Kudos to the Aussies - this is the way to play Cricket. You play to win. I say this with disappointment at the way the Indian team played in the West Indies less than 12 months ago. They had a test match is the bag - 87 runs to get off 90 balls with 7 wickets in hand and they chose to play for a draw. That to me was incomprehensible. There was a test match to be won! What else do you play cricket for? Another example was a few years ago in NZ when the team batted on and on despite having secured a big lead - on the last day the rain came down and the kiwis had a few wickets left so another victory was not pushed for. It is all about team culture and although I am a diehard Indian fan the contrast in attitude really bothers me. We need an attacking skipper like MAK Pataudi (RIP) or Bishen Bedi. Maybe after 0-8 it is time to give Bhaj the reins? Any congrats again to Clarke and the Aussies - wins like this give you a lot of belief. Warney - what an attitude! Legend!

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 1:11 GMT)

Don't forget the Sydney test involving Pakistan! They had a low total to chase and Australia won after conceding a lead and being bowled out for 120.

Posted by champ1388 on (April 13, 2012, 0:55 GMT)

I agree with u RandyOZ the Australian cricket team is the most successful cricketing nation of all time...and their never give up attitude is really admirable...And I am not biased coz I am from India

Posted by Chris_P on (April 13, 2012, 0:02 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas . Appreciate your comments. You haven't always been so complimentary of the Aussies, but your post was appreciated. I know jonesy sometimes goes a little far with his statements, I like his passion, but sometimes reflects a little on the rest of us who are mostly true cricket lovers. I stated in another article about Pune's decision to get Clarke. I think his inclusion will benefit Indian cricket overall, especially with the youngsters there in Pune. He is very much admired by the younger players in the shield competition & goes out of his way to help them. It is also the reason why NSW have got so many youngsters coming through, or a big factor anyway.

Posted by Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on (April 12, 2012, 23:48 GMT)

The Australian team is much younger and less experienced than it was in 06. I have great respect for Ricky Ponting, but his captaincy lacked killer instinct, unlike an AB or Ian Chappell. Clarke's instincts are very sound, as his leadership in this test showed and the recent Austrlian summer showed also (Hobart aside, when some pretty freaky conditions and a highly motivated NZ team got the better of us). With Pattinson and Cummins yet to return, we are only a great spinner away from setting up for another few years of domination (sorry Gaz, you're not there yet). Clarke may yet be one of the greatest Aussie skippers ever - time will tell.

Posted by Meety on (April 12, 2012, 23:45 GMT)

@Cummins_Hazlewood - well said. That's the beauty of Shield Cricket as it stands. Little reward for first innings points - big reward for winning.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 23:16 GMT)

if it didn't work for clarke he would be criticize it work he's been honored congrat anyway

Posted by dalboy12 on (April 12, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

Well Done Aussie, but as a Kiwi who has just had South Africa in the country they are a pretty awesome team, they just need to get mentally stronger when they come up against the Aussies that's all. As a neutral cricket fan in this contest, there is another positive happening here and that's WI cricket is getting stronger, the cricketing world is all the better when WI has a good team, be great to see Gayle back playing for them, and hope they continue to perform in the rest of the series, which lets face it Aussie should win.

Posted by yorkshirematt on (April 12, 2012, 22:50 GMT)

@henrystephen Mean sprited englishmen jeering the aussies? What's new there? We've done it for over a hundred years and it's what makes the ashes so special when it comes round. It helps when the teams are so evenly matched as well

Posted by Damo_s on (April 12, 2012, 22:48 GMT)

I just like ribbing the deluded Aussie supporters who bang on about how great their current team is. England arent that great either tbh, certainly not worthy of the number 1 tag. The draw in SL was unlucky as we were the better team. However the drubbing by Pakistan made us look like a bunch of clowns. I look forward to a great series against SA, and a likely drubbing in India.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 22:26 GMT)

Superb captaincy...i don think any other captain at present would hav declared n put the opp team bat wen his team was still trailing behind by few runs...he has the attitude to win matches than draw matches

Posted by leggetinoz on (April 12, 2012, 22:22 GMT)

@Trickstar, don't worry about using this example to show how the Aussies have fallen. We recently demolished the number 2 side in the world 4 zip. The windies put up a better fight than the indians did and all credit to them. If the windies get their act together and keep working than i have no doubt they will be challenging others on a more regular basis as well.

Posted by __PK on (April 12, 2012, 22:20 GMT)

People who use this test as an indicator of how Aus have fallen need to check history. During their reign at the top, Aus frequently faced challenges like this. Any team can start a test well and even dominate the first couple of days. But the great Aus sides of the past have always hung in there, knowing that their superior skill would tell over five days, more often than not. To beat Australia you need to win almost every session and keep on winning them, right to the end of the test. Nothing has changed.

Posted by henrystephen on (April 12, 2012, 21:43 GMT)

Yes, the "fighting spirit" is a given, but this team can easily come unstuck against a skilled outfit. Australia needs to find a quality spinner or two if it's going to shut up these mean-spirited Englishmen that feel that it's their duty to jeer every Aussie win, loss or draw.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 12, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

@Damo_s and Trickstar, you have no idea. The Australian team has now managed to draw away against the very soon to be No.1 side in the world South Africa chasing 310 on a Day 5 pitch against Philander and Steyn. It has beaten the No.3 side India 4-0 at home. It has beaten the No.5 side Sri Lanka away from home, which is something the current No.1 failed to do. And now it is on its way to beating the No.8 side away from home. The only disappointment was a drawn series at home against NZ. So under Clarke, this team has overachieved and exceeded expectations significantly.

Posted by Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (April 12, 2012, 20:40 GMT)

The extra responsibility for Clarke has transformed him. We dont hear so much from the haters who seemed to think he was a pretty boy who hadnt earned the role. He doesnt have a great team but he is getting the best out of them and that makes a great captain. Find him 3 more young Test match standard batsmen , maybe a spinner and add that to Pattinson , Cummins & M Marsh and we are going places.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 20:21 GMT)

It was a brave decision by Clarke but it was also well implemented by poor batting from windies top order eg braithwaite,barath and edwards on the fourth day.Windies were close in the end though.Australia are a fragile line-up.haha

Posted by Buggsy on (April 12, 2012, 20:15 GMT)

Clarke is on target to becoming one of the greatest and most shrewd captains in the history of the game. All he needs now is a few batsman to start doing their job.

Posted by msq3761 on (April 12, 2012, 19:30 GMT)

Clarke is unarguably the best captain in the world right now. He knows his strengths and weaknesses and brings the best out of his team. His positive attitude is truly exemplary. Clarke has played with some of the greats and it shows in his performance how much he has learned from them. I see Australia at the top of Test ranking very soon.

Posted by g_golu on (April 12, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

Clarke has been a great leader in all aspects. He has certainly rebuilt the team that till last year was missing the likes of Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist. Certainly this team carries a positive spirit about what they do and how they do it. What an amazing team game and all credit to the Australian Team and the Man who made this possible. Good Luck Clarke !

Posted by Damo_s on (April 12, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

@Jonesy - This team can become one of the greatest. What the windies? I agree LOL ;-)

Posted by Trickstar on (April 12, 2012, 17:36 GMT)

How the Aussies have fallen, beating the 8th ranked team should be a given but they struggled, funny thing they looked quite equally matched but put Gayle and Narine in there for WI and Wi look better.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 17:20 GMT)

Few days back on some article in crficinfo i mentioned all test nations and their weaknesses and strengths and i predicted that this aussies side is the one that can achieve the no.1 status and will maintain it for atleast few years .It has shown its poise and character .I am pretty sure none other sides would have won this test from end of day 3 situation .I am pakistani and i am eagerly waiting for test battle between Aus vs Pak . The two in form teams with good bowling and average batting resources.

Posted by whoster on (April 12, 2012, 17:11 GMT)

Michael Clarke has been hugely impressive as Australia captain. He's always looking to make things happen, like throwing the ball to a part-time bowler on the hunch he may pick up a wicket. It worked when David Warner was introduced in the first innings. Also, his declaration in the second innings was a statement of intent, and surprised the West Indies, catching them off guard. Yes, you could argue that the Windies have a young and fragile side, but Clarke's captaincy was a big factor in the win. How much this shows the Australian side have come remains to be seen, but they've certainly got the best man in charge of their side.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (April 12, 2012, 16:55 GMT)

Wow, Michael Clarke. Mate, well done! I've never felt happy when Australia beat West Indies and was to the point of being bitter. But this time around, I wouldn't say I'm not sad that West Indies lost. But I'm not bitter at all that Australia beat West Indies. Michael Clarke just tamed my anger against the Aussie way of cricket. What a fine ambassador he is turning out to be. RESPECTS to you Clarke and your 'young' team. God bless you and hoping to see you in IPL. I know that you have it in you to tame any format. Just do it one more time to tame your critics. Congrats from an Indian.

Posted by jabrankundi on (April 12, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

Well done aussies. West Indies need to ponder and bring some positivity into their game. The first two days they played for a draw and in the end they couldn't handle the mess they had put themselves in. 5 days is a hell of a lot of time, especially with more and more t20s being played turning around a match doesn't take long these days.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 16:40 GMT)

And remember to thank an overly-defensive Sammy too!

Posted by Wefinishthis on (April 12, 2012, 16:22 GMT)

I had doubts we even stood a chance in this match until that shock 9th wicket partnership and the rest of the day 4 events, but I had no doubt we'd win in Adelaide '06. Yes the English would have had to deal with their bunny Warne on a 5th day wicket as well as the great McGrath, but the '06 ashes team was one of the strongest test sides ever assembled in the history of cricket with several of the greatest players the game has known and all 11 players in form. England never stood a chance in that series and they were on the receiving end of what should have happened in '05 had either umpires (kaspa dismissal and most decisions going England's way), selectors (no macgill/bracken) or fate (freak mcgrath injury) all done their jobs properly, but looking back it was a good thing for test cricket that the English won, the crowds and the tension were unbelievable in '05. Well done to Clarke for being positive in this match.

Posted by unbiasedfan on (April 12, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

Recall the test last year in West Indies when India had to do a similar chase (much smaller run chase) and pulled the shutters. It speaks of the difference in attitude between the teams and the captains. Bravo Australia - keep the test match flag flying.

Posted by Mary_786 on (April 12, 2012, 16:03 GMT)

Clarke shouldn't get ahead of himself, Windies were missing Gayle, Narine and Pollard, 3 of their best players. Beating the number 8 best team is no indication that we are ready for the POMs.. Cowan also looks out of his depth and his slow batting put too much pressure on the other batsman.

Posted by PrasPunter on (April 12, 2012, 16:02 GMT)

@RandyOZ, cant agree more Mate !! This is what we call as "Australianism.." Go Aussies !! Still got work to do. but pretty confident that we are poised in the right direction !! Take a bow Pup !!

Posted by Damo_s on (April 12, 2012, 15:57 GMT)

RandyOz - but not at the moment eh? You just about managed to scrape a win against a half young, half second string WI team. Even then it was entirely down to exceptional, career best batting performances by two of your bowlers. LOL

Posted by jonesy2 on (April 12, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

this team can become one of the very greatest

Posted by yorkshirematt on (April 12, 2012, 15:36 GMT)

Why must he bring that up again!?

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas_Atheist on (April 12, 2012, 15:24 GMT)

Wow, Michael Clarke. Mate, well done. I've never felt happy when Australia beat West Indies and was to the point of being bitter. But this time around, I wouldn't say I'm not sad that West Indies lost. But I'm not bitter at all that Australia beat West Indies. Michael Clarke just tamed my anger against the Aussie way of cricket. What a fine ambassador he is turning out to be. RESPECTS to you Clarke and your 'young' team. God bless you and hoping to see you in IPL. I know that you have it in you to tame any format. Just do it one more time to tame your critics. Congrats from an Indian.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 15:21 GMT)

Although it was a great comeback by Aussies on the 4th day, when i went to sleep last night, i was pretty sure that the match will end in a draw...but i think the victory shows the attitude that Aussies always have and the belief that they can win match from any position. Critics might say that this is not the strongest Aussie unit, which is correct as well, but the Belief, courage and attitude seems to be the same in each individual. I am an indian and i would have been more happier had WI won the match, but looking at how Aussies have come back, have made me say that...Hats off, Amazing.

Posted by cyclist00752 on (April 12, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

I think if Simon Katich was in place of Ed Cowan ... they would have performed much better in these last few months. Nevertheless feel gutted for West Indies ... if only Chanderpaul would have played longer in the 2nd innings. I think the Aussies were lucky with the light and with the umpiring decisions or this match was not theirs.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 15:09 GMT)

A great win for Australia's positive intent. Congratulations. :) Adelaide was more special though, because it looked like draw till Stumps on Day 4, and they pulled off the win on final day.

Posted by unregisteredalien on (April 12, 2012, 15:08 GMT)

Second time in history that victory was contrived from such circumstances: well done guys. And please keep it up Brettig/Cricinfo: we appreciate the quality and diversity; don't start to measure articles by the number of comments they attract.

Posted by cheguramana on (April 12, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Fantastic ! Unbelievable !! The Aussies have created another Test martch classic. This team is really on the comeback trail. Looking forward to more great cricket from this bunch. Well done guys !!!

Posted by W_indian on (April 12, 2012, 15:05 GMT)

Great standoff by the young West Indies Side we don't give up so easy even thought we are less experience side compare to the topguns. We will fight to the last breath we are going to draw this series at lease!

Posted by Barnesy4444 on (April 12, 2012, 15:04 GMT)

Clarke should enjoy the accolades he and hs team receives. Let's hope this team continues to develop and shows a lot of fight in the next Ashes series. That's all you can ask in an Ashes series.

Posted by ahabib on (April 12, 2012, 14:49 GMT)

This was an amazing victory. Clarke's declaration was brilliant. Australia at its best!

Posted by maddinson on (April 12, 2012, 14:25 GMT)

nothing surprising for those who follow Aussie domestic cricket, to be behind and declare and then win to match is quite common fixture in shield cricket.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (April 12, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

Adelaide 06 was one of the most unreal days of cricket ever. Didn't watch this game but by the sounds of it it was pretty great.

Posted by Imad_K on (April 12, 2012, 14:19 GMT)

It was a good idea for Clarke to declare when he did. There really wasn't much risk involved due to the time left in the test match. There wasn't enough time left for West Indies to put enough on the board and get Australia out. So the match would either have been a draw or a win for Australia.

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

This is Really A Must Good Win of The Australian Team & Captain

Posted by OzWally on (April 12, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

"No guts, no glory" epitomizes this team. They still have their faults but are improving with each match. 8-2-2 over the last 12 tests, the future is bright.

Posted by Simoc on (April 12, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

This is one to celebrate.Great win for Oz. Probably as good as it gets at this stage.

Posted by sabee66 on (April 12, 2012, 13:32 GMT)

well done Aussies. GOod on you

Posted by   on (April 12, 2012, 13:26 GMT)

Adelaide was more special.. that was the Ashes !!

Posted by RandyOZ on (April 12, 2012, 13:12 GMT)

Amazing Adelaide was a testament to the fighting spirit in every Australian cricket team. It is great to see the current crop continuing that tradition. This is what makes us the most successful cricketing nation of all time.

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Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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