Michael Clarke just retired breaking the hearts of millions of fans. Therefore today we at EssentiallySports bring to you his top 10 innings which prove that he is one of the greats of his time
Michael Clarke played this flamboyant innings against South Africa at the Gabba in 2012. This innings was quite similar to his triple-century against India about an year ago. Clarke batted really well late in the day under fading light with Australia three wickets down for less than 50 and stuck in there. He worked hard early in his innings and when he was set,he struck 26 boundaries in an innings that was close to flawless.
Clarke’s admirable footwork has always made him look at ease in the subcontinent conditions where a lot of his teammates have struggled.The captain led from the front and showed his teammates how to play in the dusty conditions they were presented with in Chennai in 2013. With the Aussies struggling at 5-153, Clarke found a partner as Moises Henriques who was on debut and played against India’s three-man spin attack with ease and class.
This innings wasn’t one of Clarke’s best, but it was a personal milestone as this came right after his break up. Clarke returned to New Zealand after a quick trip home and did what he does best- score centuries.
During his second tour of England, Clarke was a revolution with the bat as Australia lost the Ashes urn in 2009 and his knock at Lord’s was the highlight of the Australian innings. Against a strong performance from Andrew Flintoff, Clarke was the mainstay of the Australian innings and along with Brad Haddin as the Aussies chased an unlikely target of 522.
The pitch was flat at Adelaide Oval and the boundaries were long, but Clarke made the world’s No.1 bowling attack look mediocre with a thrilling double-century on day 1 of the test match. The captain once again rescued Australia from a difficult position and his 200 came of only 226 balls. He came in at 3-55, and hit 40 fours and a six, which included five boundaries off a single over from Morne Morkel.
Clarke made his debut against India at the Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore in 2004 . He scored a century on debut, which came against the best spin-bowling pair in the world in their home conditions. Young ‘Pup’ was aggressive against Indian spin greats Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
In 2012 Clarke became just the fifth Australian to score a Test triple century when he scored 329 at the SCG. The skipper came to the crease with the Aussies were struggling at 3-37. Clarke put his foot down and flourished on days two and three, sharing brilliant partnerships with veterans Ricky Ponting and then Michael Hussey as he wrote his name in the history books forever.
The pitch was flat in Cape Town, Dale Steyn, South Africa’s strike bowler wasn’t playing . But Clarke survived a vicious barrage from Morne Morkel . By this innings he silenced his critics who questioned his toughness under unfamiliar conditions
He came to the crease with his side struggling on 3-40 on the first day, Clarke did bulk of the scoring in tricky conditions against an attack consisting of Steyn, Morkel and Philander. He took just 108 balls to reach his century when the rest of Australia’s top order had an average strike rate of around 30. But his feat was forgotten the following day when the Aussies were sent packing for 47 in their second innings.
No player in the history of the game has never seen the kind of emotional and physical pain that Clarke was in on the 9th and 10th of December in 2014. Just a week after Phillip Hughes death, Clarke gritted his teeth and fought against a back spasm and scored a century that happened to be his last as a Test player at the Adelaide Oval.