In the latest test at the Adelaide Oval between Australia and South Africa, Michael Clarke became the first man in history to score four double centuries in a calendar year. His latest knock of 230 put Clarke in the record books.
His other double centuries this year have come against India. He started his record off by becoming the first Australian since Matthew Hayden to score a triple hundred when he scored 329 not out in Sydney. In the fourth test against India, Clarke scored 210.
The latest series against South Africa, Clarke has been dominant. In the first test at the Gabba, Clarke scored 259 not out and followed it up in the next test by scoring 230.
…captain of Australia for fifteen test matches…
Clarke has been in superb form since taking over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting. Clarke has been captain of Australia for fifteen test matches. In these test Matches, Clarke has scored a century or more on seven occasions.
Clarke was a product of the Australian Cricket Academy. He first came onto the scene when he made his ODI debut against England in January 2003. But his test debut was more notable. In October 2004 in Bangalore, India, in tough conditions and with a first class average of below 40, Clarke was brought into the team and scored 151 on debut.
…one of only a few players to score a test century on home and away debuts…
On Clarke’s home debut at the Gabba against New Zealand, he scored another century. His score of 141 makes Clarke one of only a few players to score a test century on home and away debuts.
But during the ashes series defeat of 2005, Clarke’s poor form saw him dropped from the team.
…he has never looked back…
In his time away from the Australian set up, Clarke scored a first class double century and scored freely in the ODI’s. Clarke was restored to the test team to face South Africa.
During The Ashes series of 06-07, Clarke came in for the injured Shane Watson. He scored consecutive centuries, his place in the team was secured and since then he has never looked back.
…His left arm orthodox spin has helped Australia…
Clarke’s batting average is continuously on the rise and is currently at 52. With 28 centuries for Australia, it’s not just his batting that helps Australia.
Clarke can also play a part as a part time bowler. His left arm orthodox spin has helped Australia on several occasions. His 6 for 9 against India couldn’t save them from defeat but his heroics against India in 2008 was remarkable. In the second to last over of the day and with eight minutes remaining, Clarke claimed the three final wickets to claim victory and allowed Australia to continue their world record run of 16 consecutive test wins.
At 31 and with Clarke’s recent form even during superlatives to the great Don Bradman, his value to Australia is indispensable. If his form continues, he could well join the list of greats.