Three instances where declaration in Tests was made under questionable circumstances
#2 Australia vs India (Sydney, 2012)
It was the historic 100th Test match at the Sydney cricket ground and India were already 1-0 down in the four-match Test series. India batted first and were bowled out for just 191 courtesy a four-wicket haul from James Pattinson.
In reply, Australia posted a huge total of 659/4 with skipper Micheal Clarke notching a brilliant 329*. Ricky Ponting and Micheal Hussey scored hundreds and the Indians had to toil hard for close to two days.
However, once Micheal Hussey reached 150, Michael Clarke declared the innings when he was just five runs short of surpassing the legendary Sir Don Bradman’s and Mark Taylor’s score of 334. With a lead of 468 runs and plenty of time left in the Test, Clarke was certainly well on course to score more. But he chose to put the team’s interests ahead of his personal glory.
Clarke’s selfless nature was clearly evident when he said,
“I didn’t have Don Bradman and Mark Taylor’s score in my head whatsoever. I’m stoked to have managed to make 300-odd runs today in this Test match, but the most important thing for me now is that we win the Test and that was a big reason for my declaration. It is about putting the team first. What I love most about this game, is seeing this team win. I’ve been like that as a player and I’ll be no different as a captain. If it was best for the team to continue batting, then I would have continued to bat.”
His declaration was filled with magnanimity and even Mark Taylor echoed his sentiments. He said,
“He’s a guy who loves the game of cricket and I don’t think people have quite understood that with Michael. He had an opportunity to make the world Test record today, there’s no doubt about that. He could’ve done that and still had two days to bowl India out and win this Test. He could’ve achieved both goals but what he wanted to say is ‘yes, I want to do well myself. But I want to captain a side that’s going to win first.’ A lot of people focused on the negatives. But now he is the main man. I think we’re starting to see the real Michael Clarke.”
Clearly, the 100th Test at the SCG was one to remember across ages.Published 02 Dec 2019, 10:05 IST