When 23-year-old New South Wales batsman Michael Clarke made his Test debut on 6th October 2004, against India on their home soil, no one had a clue that he will be the next big thing in the Australian cricket.
Playing alongside legendary Test batsmen like Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich and Darren Lehmann, the young and dynamic Clarke announced his arrival in style He scored 151 runs in 248 balls and conceded four runs while bowling a single over of his slow left-arm orthodox spin.
Just like his debut, Clarke’s whole journey of Test cricket saw many ups and very few downs. He captained the national side succeeding Ricky Ponting in 2011, kept Australia’s glorious momentum intact and led them back to the number one rank before calling it quits at The Ashes 2015.
Stats that define Michael Clarke’s greatness in Test cricket
In his debut match against India in Bangalore, Clarke smashed 151 in his first international innings. The 151-run knock itself showcases Clarke’s aggressive and dominant approach towards Test cricket. It is the highest knock by an Australian who had debuted away from home.
Precious part-time bowler
Clarke continued his momentum after his Test debut and the 4th Test of the series in Mumbai witnessed Clarke claiming 6 wickets for 9 runs with his part-time spin bowling skills.
The spell still stands to be the best in the history Australia Test cricket as no Aussie cricketer has taken 6 wickets by conceding less than 10 runs.
Clarke captained Australia in 47 Test matches winning 24 whilst losing 16 and drawing 7 matches. Along with his captaincy and player managing skills, he was a game-changer and inspired his teammates with his style of play.
In 2012, Clarke scored his career best knock of 329 runs (not out) against India at Sydney. With this, he set a record in Australian cricket that still stands intact. Clarke’s 329* was recorded to be the highest score by an Australian captain.
Clarke’s captaincy period was moreover like a roller-coaster ride for the Australian Test side. It was the period of fast, fearless and result-oriented Test cricket for Australia. Thanks to Michael Clarke who declared 30.68 percent matches which is the highest percentage of declarations by any Test captain.
The 2012 calendar year was the most successful for captain Clarke as he set many records this year and established himself as a complete Test cricketer. He was also named as the Test Cricketer of the Year in 2013.
The middle-order batsman scored 1595 runs in that year, smashing four double-centuries which still stands as the maximum number of double tons in a year by any player.
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