`Pup” Clarke emerges as leader of new Oz cricket era

January 5th, 2009 - 5:29 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, Jan.5 (ANI): Batsman Michael Clarke has delivered immense reassurance to his team in desperate times, and is being seen as the natural leader of Australia’’s changing cricket team.
Having scored his tenth century in the ongoing Sydney Test against South Africa, there is nothing premature about the 27-year-old’’s recognition as the main man of the Australian middle order.
Clarke is the leading run-scorer in the series, with 342 at 85.5, including yesterday’’s 138.
As vice-captain, he has spoken often of his reinvention as a more patient practitioner than the boyish batsman who burst onto the Test scene more than four years ago, and displayed his ability to change his tempo to suit the situation.
“Very happy to score my first hundred on my home ground, as you would have seen by my emotions when I got there,” he said.
“I thought I struck the ball pretty well, and fortunately I got away with a couple of lives last night,” he added.
Clarke also hailed the growing confidence and maturity of Johnson, whose miraculous spell of bowling in Perth will be remembered for as long as South Africa’’s come-from-behind win and who has helped the tail wag in each Test.
“It’’s great for the future of Australian cricket. Mitch has been unbelievable with the ball and also the bat. He’’s got plenty of pace. I think he’’s improving in each game,” Clarke said. “I can”t see any reason why he can”t be a genuine all-rounder.” (ANI)

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