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Player Profile(#33)… Michael Clarke (Australia)

Posted by wildkiwi25 on November 25, 2008

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Michael John Clarke (born 2 April 1981 in Liverpool, New South Wales) is an Australian cricketer. Nicknamed ‘Pup’, ‘Nemo’ or ‘Clarkey’, he is a right-handed batsman, highly-regarded fielder and occasional left-arm orthodox spin bowler. He is currently engaged to Australian model Lara Bingle. On 10 January 2007, Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph indicated that Clarke may have been involved with Bingle as early as September 2006. On 25 March 2008 it was announced that the pair are engaged after Clarke proposed in New York’s Central Park.

He made his debut for New South Wales as an eighteen year old in the 1999-2000 Australian domestic season.

Clarke quickly began showing his potential, after being fast-tracked into the Australian national team, making his One Day International debut in January 2003 against England. He immediately made a name for himself on the international scene for his aggressive yet mature batting ability.

Clarke was selected to make his Test debut against India at Bangalore, October 2004, despite having a first-class average below 40. He succeeded on debut, scoring 151 and consequently helping Australia to victory, invoking comparisons to past Australian batsmen such as Doug Walters and Mark Waugh. The innings, felt Peter Roebuck, was especially notable for its aggression and freedom. “Not that the assault was reckless,” he added. “Indeed the control was impressive. Clarke calculated the risks and took his brains with him down the track. Of course he need [sic] a bit of luck, was plumb in front in the nineties, but few begrudged him his hundred. And everyone except his weary foes celebrated with him and his tearful family when he reached three figures. After all, he had advanced both the match and the game.”

Clarke went on to play a major part in Australia’s 2-1 series victory, their first in India in over thirty years, contributing outstanding bowling figures of 6 for 9 in the final Test of the series. After this, the media dubbed him the “next captain of Australia”.

On his return to Australia he made another debut century, his first home Test in Brisbane against New Zealand, becoming one of the few Test cricketers to have achieved the feat of Test centuries on both their home and away debuts.

In recognition of his performance in the 2004 calendar year, he was awarded the Allan Border Medal in 2005.

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Clarke’s poor form during the 2005 Ashes series and his failing to score a test century for over a year saw him dropped from the Test team in late 2005. Clarke had previously remarked that one of his career aims was to never be dropped from the Test team. In early 2006, after making his first first-class double century and scoring heavily in ODIs, Clarke was recalled for the tour of South Africa. He was then picked over Andrew Symonds for the April 2006 Tests against Bangladesh. Two consecutive centuries in the second and third Ashes Tests while Shane Watson was injured helped Australia to regain the Ashes and cemented Clarke’s position in the Test team.

Clarke then helped Australia retain the World Cup in 2007 in the West Indies where they did not lose a game. After Damien Martyn’s retirement he was elevated to number 5 in the batting line up. He had a superb tournament making 4 fifties including a 92 and a 93* against the Netherlands and South Africa. He also made an unbeaten 60 against South Africa in the semi final to guide Australia into the final at Barbados, against Sri Lanka.

Clarke faced only 4 balls for 3 runs in the ICC World Twenty20, when Australia were knocked out by India in the semi final. Two weeks later he made 130 against India in the first of a 7 match ODI series. He did not maintain that form in the remaining 6 matches mustering up just one fifty. He opened the batting in the final 2 games after a hip injury ruled out Matthew Hayden and he made two golden ducks. In the tour-ending Twenty20 match Clarke dropped back down the order with the return of Hayden, and scored 25 not out in a heavy defeat to the current Twenty20 world champions.

On 9 November 2007, Clarke notched up his fifth Test century against Sri Lanka in a two Test series. Clarke shared a 245 run partnership with Mike Hussey at the Gabba in Brisbane, Hussey departed on 133 but Clarke went on and had a partnership with Symonds who made 53*, the pair were unbeaten when Ricky Ponting declared the innings, Clarke top scoring with 145 not out.

On 5 December 2007, Cricket Australia named Clarke as captain of Australia for their one-off Twenty20 game against New Zealand in Perth, after deciding to rest Ponting and Hayden.

On 6 January 2008, Clarke dismissed Harbhajan Singh, RP Singh and Ishant Sharma in the second last over of the day, with just 8 minutes remaining, to claim the final three wickets and win the test match for Australia (at one stage he was on a hat trick, dismissing Harbhajan Singh and RP Singh on consecutive deliveries). His innings figures were 3 for 5 in 1.5 overs. Australian captain Ricky Ponting had declared that morning, setting India a total of 333 to chase and allowing Australia arguably too little time to bowl out the visitors. Clarke’s wickets ensured that Australia retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008 and kept their world record equalling 16 match win streak alive.

Since the retirement of Adam Gilchrist, Clarke has taken over the mantle as Ponting’s vice-captain, but Clarke missed the start of Australia’s 2008 tour of the West Indies following the death of Bingle’s father, meaning Hussey took over as vice-captain for the start of the tour. Soon after Clarke joined up with the squad, he scored a century in the second Test in Antigua, going on to captain the side in the final two One Day Internationals, both of which were won, in the absence through injury of Ponting.

To see more info about Michael Clarke visit the following links:

  • Cricinfo profile on Michael Clarke
  • HowSTAT! statistical profile on Michael Clarke

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    *Acknowledgements to Wikipedia.org and owners of pictures and videos used.

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    One Response to “Player Profile(#33)… Michael Clarke (Australia)”

    1. Sanath said

      cricketahead has already added your link..now its your turn to do the same..cheers

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