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In-form Clarke confident of good show by Australia

Last updated on: February 21, 2013 17:00 IST

In-form Clarke confident of good show by Australia

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Bikash Mohapatra

In October 2004, a 23-year-old went out to bat in the Chinnaswamy stadium and returned having made 151.

It was a memorable debut.

The fact that Australia proceeded to win the series – their first on Indian soil for 35 years – was the icing on the cake.

As Australia take on India in the opening Test in Chennai on Friday, a 31-year-old, riding high after a string of impressive performances, will be leading them to the field even as they try to replicate the 2004 result.

Michael Clarke, or 'Pup' as he is referred to as, has come a long way.


Image: Michael Clarke
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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'I'm still loving my cricket'

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From someone who was drafted into the national squad despite having not made enough runs in domestic cricket to the batting mainstay of this Australian line-up, and a very responsible captain.

"Am older, wiser and have a few more grey hairs," joked Clarke when urged to reminisce about his debut in India.

"I'm still loving my cricket as much and I am really enjoying the young team that we have at the moment," he continued, adding, "I am very lucky I have the chance to come here as captain as the Australian side.

"I am as excited as I was in 2004 when I made my debut, and really hope that this team has some success in the tour."


Image: Michael Clarke
Photographs: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
Tags: Clarke , India

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Amazing run in 2012

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There was confidence in Clarke's voice even as he spoke, confidence that probably emanated from a series of impressive scores accumulated in the period after he became the captain.

In 2012 alone Clarke amassed a massive 1595 runs in 11 Tests, with five centuries - including one triple and three double hundreds. When India toured Down Under last year, the batsman amassed a whopping 626 runs at an impressive 125.20 even as Australia delivered 4-0 thrashing on the hapless visitors.

In fact Clarke's record against Team India is the best among all Test playing nations, the batsman having amassed 1628 runs in 18 matches. When asked about his team's preparation for the four match series the captain seemed satisfied.

"You can only be prepared as well as you possibly can," said Clarke, adding, "Now it is about going out and having confidence in your own ability.

"The confidence comes from the team as well the fact that everybody backs each other and support the decisions made.

"I'm confident that if we play our best cricket we will have the right result."


Image: Michael Clarke
Photographs: Vince Caligiuri/Getty Images

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