Michael John Clarke is a professional Australian cricketer who plays for the Australian national cricket team. He is a right handed batsman, an occasional left arm orthodox spin bowler and a highly regarded fielder. Presently, he is with the Pune Warriors India team to play at the IPL 5 season 2012.
In the 1999-2000 Australian domestic season when Clarke was eighteen years old he made his debut for New South Wales. Clarke made his ODI debut in the year 2003 against England. As he displayed an aggressive and mature batting capability he made a name for himself. Although Clarke had a first class average less than 40 he was chosen to make his Test debut in October 2004 at Bangalore. In this debut match he scored 151 runs and assisted Australia to be triumphant.
Clarke did not perform well in the 2005 Ashes series and he failed to score a Test century for about a year as a result of which he was eliminated from the Test squad in late 2005. At the beginning of 2006 Clarke scored his first first-class double century and scored reasonably well in One day Internationals as a result of which he was recalled for the tour of South Africa. In the April 2006 Tests against Bangladesh he was selected over Andrew Symonds. When Shane Watson was injured Australia regained the Ashes during which Clarke hit two consecutive centuries in the second and third Tests and his position in the team was strengthened.
During the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies Clarke assisted Australia to win the Cup without losing any game. As Damien Martyn had retired Clarke was elevated to the number 5 position in batting. He played excellently and made 4 fifties that consisted of 93 not out and 92 against South Africa and Netherlands respectively. In the semi final he scored an unbeaten 60 against South Africa and propelled Australia in the final at Barbados.
On 6th January 2008 when there were only 8 minutes remaining and the second last over was being bowled Clarke eliminated Ishant Sharma, RP Singh and Harbhajan Singh and due to this Australia won the test match. His statistics were 3 for 5 in 1.5 overs.
Clarke’s highest ODI batting score of 130 was made against India, Bangalore, 2007. His best ODI bowling figures of 5 for 35 came against Sri Lanka, Dambulla, 2003-2004. Moreover, in 2004-05 during his Test Debut at Bangalore Clarke scored 151 runs. His highest Test batting score of 168 was made against New Zealand, Wellington, 2010.
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