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'Bradmanesque' Clarke hailed

2012-01-06 08:58

Sydney - Australia's media on Friday hailed Michael Clarke's "Bradmanesque" triple century against India, calling it the innings of the 21st century while praising his selfless declaration while unbeaten on 329.

Captain Clarke became only the sixth Australian to score 300 before calling a halt to his team's first innings at 659 for four and a massive lead of 468 runs on the third day of the second Test.

"Bradmanesque Pup gives team a triple treat," The Australian said in a front page headline, referring to the skipper by his nickname, given to him due to his youthful precociousness.

The 30-year-old has battled to find support among the Australian cricket public since taking on the Test captaincy and a year ago was booed as he came out to bat in a one-day international against England in Brisbane.

But his 329 not out on Thursday helped win over many detractors, particularly his decision to declare while just shy of beating the 334-run milestone of Australian greats Don Bradman and Mark Taylor.

"The captain showed the poise and dedication he must always have known was within him," The Australian said in an editorial.

"The Bradman/Taylor mark stands, but Clarke can claim the innings of the 21st century, a remarkable, old-fashioned performance by a captain who lived up to the finest traditions of the game."

He now ranks fourth behind Matthew Hayden (380), Taylor (334 not out) and Bradman (334) in the list of highest Australian Test innings.

The Sydney Morning Herald was equally gushing in its praise of a man who is not the archetypal Australian cricket captain: he's fresh-faced, tattooed, and loves Twitter and the high life.

"Pup's long knock shows his time has finally come," said columnist Greg Baum, adding that the reception he received on reaching 300 may finally have signalled his acceptance as a top class cricketer.

"The ovation was like the innings -- rousing, resonant and sustained. In its echo, an era might have begun."

The Sydney Daily Telegraph called Clarke the "King of the SCG".

"329 runs, 468 balls, 609 minutes... 1 legend," it said under a picture of Clarke with his hands raised after reaching the triple century landmark.

Like other media, it also focused on his declaration, with personal glory taking a back seat to the team winning the Test.

"By deciding to walk off unbeaten on 329, the Australian captain made another strong sign of intent," the paper's chief cricket writer Malcolm Conn said.

"For all the glory of such rare and joyful personal milestones, the only thing that really counts is winning."

Shane Warne, one of Clarke's best friends, said he believed the Test skipper had won over Australia's cricket fans.

"He went through a stage where he copped a bit of a rough time unfairly," he said.

"It's nice to see now people are starting to see the real Michael Clarke. They like him. They enjoy watching him bat and watching him captain.

"That makes me feel pretty proud too."

AFP

Comments
  • Werner - 2012-01-06 09:28

    Don't particularly like him, or for that matter most of the other Australian players. But credit where credit is due. Well done...mate.

      CapeChappy - 2012-01-06 22:46

      Except that it is so typical of the Aussies to claim it as the innings of the century.... Lara's 400 was far more impressive.

      Phil - 2012-01-07 05:53

      CapeChappy... went back to check on the circumstances of Lara's innings ...and I am not going to knock a great player in any way but many commentators claimed that Lara sacrificed a Test victory for his world record. Whilst checking around I found some comments by Ricky Ponting (I edited it, see link): Wisden Cricinfo staff April 19, 2004 "It's hard to imagine an Australian player doing it," Ponting told AAP, notwithstanding the fact that Matthew Hayden came within 20 runs of doing exactly that against Zimbabwe last October. "It's generally not the way we play our cricket. Their whole first innings might have been geared around one individual performance and they could have let a Test match slip because of it. They ran out of time in the game - that's not the way the Australian team plays." Ponting's sentiments have struck a chord with the former England captain and leading commentator, Tony Greig. "I'm certainly not raving about the innings," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "I have to praise it for the sheer fact that he stayed in for so long but it wasn't an innings that you could be in awe of. It was clear he had the record in mind and was just going to keep on grinding it out until he got there. As far as I'm concerned that is not a good way to play the game, especially when you're the captain. It shows that Brian Lara is not a very good captain." http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/story/134528.html

  • Jonathan - 2012-01-06 11:02

    choker... why on earth would you not set a new record? It is not like the previous holders of the record will cry or be upset - records are made to be broken.

  • Rory Litchfield - 2012-01-06 14:06

    How unlike the aus media to go so over the top.!

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