Australian team strength and conditioning coach Stuart Karppinen gave an insight into some of the scientific strategy the Australian captain went through to maintain peak performance across his innings, which stretched over three days of play, posing a unique physical and mental challenge. At the end of day one, when he was on 47 not out, Clarke had a standard massage, which included usual special attention to his chronic back injury. ''The next morning he did his hydration testing, which involves a urine test from which we can measure how much fluid he needs to take in to reach the right level,'' Karppinen said.
Also, if Clarke thought about it during his long innings, he might have recognised that the opportunity before him was almost certainly a one-off. The chance for such immortality comes occasionally. Only a handful in Test history have made more than one triple-century. This was his moment. He was in total command, the Indian attack at his mercy. Clarke could conceivably have reached Brian Lara's record by batting for just an hour-and-a-half longer. The match was scarcely more than halfway to its five-day allowance. He would still have had two days to bowl India out a second time and, as it turned out, the tourists' second innings didn't last much beyond a day.
George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo