Australia’s Clarke caps banner year in style

2012-12-27 12:17

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Melbourne – Michael Clarke’s inspired century at the Melbourne Cricket Ground today ticked off another milestone for Australia’s high-flying captain, but was also a stunning riposte to critics who had suggested he should never have been selected.

Having sustained a hamstring injury in the first Test in Hobart, Clarke was given until the last minute to prove his fitness and only announced himself ready to take on Sri Lanka on the morning of the second Test.

Meanwhile, young seamer Mitchell Starc, 100% fit and champing at the bit, was rested despite a five-wicket haul that helped drive the hosts to victory in Hobart.

Pundits and former players cried double standards. Clarke, a selector himself, simply put his head down to score 106 and surpass Ricky Ponting as his country’s most prolific Test run-scorer in a calendar year.

The four-hour innings of 14 boundaries, while not without chances, broke the hearts of Sri Lanka and helped drive Australia to a mammoth first innings lead of 278.

“With regards to beating Ricky, in my eyes he was certainly the greatest batsman I was lucky enough to play with so to beat any record that Ricky holds is very special that’s for sure,” the 31-year-old Clarke told reporters after notching his fifth ton for the year.

“Numbers have never really bothered me too much. It’s nice to be making runs and leading by example as one of the leaders in the team and the captain of the team. I think it’s really important that the captain is doing that.

“But to me it’s about winning games. If I am helping this team have success, then I feel like that’s part of my job. As long as we keep winning, that’s my priority.”

Clarke’s 22nd Test century made him fourth on the all-time list, with 1 595 runs for the year, but he is unlikely to get another chance to reel in Mohammad Yousuf (1 788), Viv Richards (1 710) or Graeme Smith (1 656) this year.

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport
Traffic Alerts
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Someone may be making you feel uncomfortable. It may be a power issue or a situation that is forcing you to see things truthfully....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.