The Ashes: Michael Clarke leads from front
- BJP relents to Chandrababu Naidu's demands, alliance likely to continue
- PMO defends Manmohan Singh, says GDP has grown three times during UPA rule
- Kumar Vishwas files application alleging threat to life from Rahul and Priyanka
- Vote for Supriya Sule or lose water, âthreatensâ Ajit Pawar
- IPL 7 Live Cricket Score, KXIP vs CSK: CSK lose Smith, McCullum after flying start against KXIP
Since celebrating his test debut with a dazzling century, Michael Clarke has combined the brash self-confidence of his native Sydney with a purity of style allied to fluent footwork in the finest Australian tradition. Related:
England bank on experience for defence
Last year the Australia captain added a Bradmanesque appetite for Test runs, accumulating 1,595 at an average of exactly 106, including three double centuries and a triple. He was selected as the leading international cricketer for 2012 by the Wisden almanack. Related: Australia batsmen hold key
Clarke's blend of elegance and acquisition led former Australian off-spinner Ashley Mallett to suggest that the right-hander was now an amalgam of Victor Trumper and Don Bradman, who also forged their reputations in Sydney.
"He possesses the majesty of Trumper...and much of the efficiency of Bradman, who collected runs like a frequent flyer clocks miles," enthused Mallett. Related: Onions included in England Ashes squad
A modern and more relevant parallel could be drawn with Allan Border, another Sydneysider who was the initially reluctant captain of a side who lost series against West Indies, England, Pakistan and New Zealand.
Like Clarke, Border stood figuratively head-and-shoulders above his team mates as a batsman; tough, pragmatic and at his best in the perennial crises afflicting his team.
In tandem with coach Bobby Simpson, Border instilled his own gritty work ethic into an under-performing side, weeded out the players he did not want and backed those he thought possessed the right stuff.
Australia won the World Cup in India in 1987 and two years later Border's men defeated England 4-0 in a six-match series. England did not regain the Ashes until 2005.
Can Clarke emulate Border? After losing three Ashes series out of the last four, Australia's run-up to Wednesday's first Test at Trent Bridge could hardly have been less promising.
- As EC website crashes due to overload, party workers use apps to locate voters
- An entire society in Kothrud could not vote
- Chaos, anger across city over missing names
- Mulayam pushes third front, says will stake claim to PM post
- Don’t look at my candidates, votes for me: Maya to Dalits
- AAP biggies focus on Vishwas, Kejri seats, other units suffer