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Sick Clarke defies the odds

Australia's decision to travel with a team doctor for the first time in 20 years paid off immediately as a stomach bug floored Michael Clarke in the hours leading up to his century on Saturday. Clarke reportedly woke at 1am on the morning of the match severely ill and only an intense course of medication allowed him to play.

Clarke showed few signs of the illness as he compiled 130 at nearly a run a ball at Bangalore, although his good work was partly wasted as rain washed away Australia's hopes of victory. Without help from the doctor John Orchard, the Australians believed Clarke would not only have missed the Bangalore game but potentially Tuesday's match at Kochi as well.

"I was certainly giving him [Orchard] a high five when Pup got his hundred," Adam Gilchrist, the stand-in captain, told the Daily Telegraph. "Pup was up all night with gastro and without a medical professional there is no way he would have played."

The Australian reported Clarke had 12 hours of intense antibiotic and rehydration treatment before his lengthy innings and had eaten just four pieces of plain toast prior to the match. He made it through with the help of constant deliveries of tablets and drinks from the dressing-room and his batting partner for much of the day, Brad Haddin, saw no indication the illness had lingered.

"He was in a better state than me at the end, I don't know what happened but he was going all right out there," Haddin told the Australian. "I heard he had a rough night [but] he came through well and there's no signs of it."