rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Cricket » Captain Clarke now the world's best batsman, says Haddin

Captain Clarke now the world's best batsman, says Haddin

December 06, 2013 16:52 IST

Captain Clarke now the world's best batsman, says Haddin

     Next

Next

Michael Clarke's stylish 148 on day two of the second Ashes Test against England on Friday was another glorious consummation of his love affair with Adelaide Oval, and moved his deputy Brad Haddin to rate him the world's best batsman. 

The pair shared a record sixth-wicket partnership of 200 at the re-developing ground to drive Australia to a mammoth declaration of 570-9 before firebrand paceman Mitchell Johnson captured the key wicket of captain Alastair Cook after tea to leave England a shaky 35-1 at stumps.

The 32-year-old Clarke has now scored four tons from his nine Tests in Adelaide, not including two further double-centuries and four 50s to average a brilliant 104.75 and it was almost a shock to the crowd of 35,000 when he miscued a drive to be caught after lunch.

The crowd rose as one to give Clarke a standing ovation, however, and vice captain Haddin continued the tributes later after blasting his own way to 118.

"I think so. You can definitely make a good argument for it," the hard-bitten wicketkeeper told reporters when asked if Clarke was the world's best batsman.


Image: Michael Clarke walks back after being dismissed
Photographs: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

     Next

'Such a good player of spin bowling'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Once he gets past 20, he seems to go on and get some really big hundreds. His form over the last two years has been as good as anyone in the world. It's been good to watch.

"I think you've seen since Michael's taken over (as captain), his batting's gone to another level.

"We know he's such a good player of spin bowling, he's so quick on his feet.

Haddin and Clarke put on 116 in the first session to take the game away from England, with the keeper riding his luck at times, surviving a caught behind dismissal on 51 when bowler Ben Stokes overstepped his mark.


Image: Michael Clarke
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'It showed me cricket was just a game'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

In typically belligerent fashion, the 36-year-old Haddin did not bother with poking singles and twos with his fourth Test century in reach, and after getting to 80, brought up the milestone by blasting a six and four fours.

Haddin lost his place in the Australian team to Matthew Wade last year when he had to leave the tour of the Caribbean to attend to his sick daughter.

He was recalled ahead of the first Ashes series this year as Australia sought to toughen up their brittle batting order, and has been in top form at the crease this series, resurrecting his team's first innings in the opening Test in Brisbane with a 94 and scoring 53 in the second.

"It showed me cricket was just a game," Haddin said of his family troubles last year.


Image: Brad Haddin
Photographs: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Prev     Next

'Just enjoying my cricket'

Prev     More
Prev

More

"I'm pretty lucky I didn't score that 100 up at Brisbane when all my kids were there so I'm pretty relieved I got it here when they're not here.

"I think it's the state of mind," he added of his form.

"I'm pretty comfortable with where my game's at the moment. I'm enjoying being a part of this team moving forward and just enjoying my cricket."

Haddin also enjoyed keeping to Johnson as the in-form paceman hurled down 150 kph (93 mph) missiles that thumped into his gloves. One struck number three batsman Joe Root on the chest and a number whistled past opener Michael Carberry's ears.

"It's good fun," Haddin said. "My worst part of the week is the seven minutes having to face him in the nets."


Image: Brad Haddin
Photographs: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

Prev     More
Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.