The 100th Test at the SCG will always be remembered as the match in which Michael Clarke declared himself into Australian sporting history with his epic 329 not out.
Despite building a young successful career which included being named the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2010 and being awarded the Allan Border Medal twice (2005 and 2009), ‘Clarkey’ has had to work hard to gain the admiration of the Australian public.
During an innings that spanned three days Clarke managed to maintain a strike rate of 70.29 and dazzle his home crowd with a flurry of fours and one almighty six. He thus proved that he was the man to lead Australia against the more than worthy opponent, India, who is ranked higher in the official ICC Test rankings.
Having made 329 not out, Clarke declared once his batting partner Michael Hussey had made 150. This sporting declaration saw Clarke fall just five runs short of Sir Donald Bradman and Mark Taylor’s joint total of 334. This remarkable Australian record has only been eclipsed once, by Matthew Hayden who made 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003. The current world record highest score is held by Brian Lara who made 400 not out against England in 2004.
When talking about his decision to declare Clarke stated;
“It was about trying to get the team to a total which I thought was a really good for a declaration and then get out there and try have a crack and take a couple of wickets this afternoon. That’s all I was thinking about.”
In what was expected to be a tough series Clarke has had the summer of a lifetime. Not only did he amass a triple century but he also completed his first home series as captain with emphatic victories in all games. He was subsequently awarded player of the series.
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