Michael Clarke Biography
Michael John Clarke is a retired cricketer and former World Cup winning captain of Australia, who is hailed as one of the finest batsmen Australia has produced. He was an exceptional leader who led from the front and orchestrated some of Australia's most famous wins of all time.
Michael Clarke was born on 2 April 1981 in New South Wales. He was a right-handed batsman and a left arm orthodox spin bowler. He was a once in a generation cricketer and an epitome of grace and composure on the field.
At his peak, he was the number one ranked test batsman, who also captained Australia in their victorious campaign at the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Clarke's father used to own an indoor sports centre which resulted in him being inclined towards sports. Michael was good batsman from the young age and many told him that he would one day play for Australia.
He was a part of Australia's U-19 World Cup squad in 2000. He made his first-class debut for New South Wales at the age of 17 against India in a warm up match at the SCG. For the talent that he was at a young age, he was awarded an Australian Cricket Academy scholarship in 1999.
He also played for the Ramsbottom Cricket Club in Lancashire League in 2002 in England. Michael suffered from a chronic back pain at the age of 17, but he put in hard work and efforts to overcome it showing great resilience at a very young age.
The word about a young talented batsman was going around in the Australian cricketing circuit and Clarke was soon put in the senior ODI squad and made his ODI debut against England at Adelaide in January 2013.
He scored an unbeaten 39 off 57 balls on debut and played only one match in that series. He scored an unbeaten 75 in his next ODI match against West Indies and went on to score 170 runs in four matches at an average of 85.00.
He made his test debut the next year against India at Bangalore and scored a gritty 151 off 248 balls in the first innings, eventually helping Australia beat India in their own backyard by 217 runs.
Rise to Glory
Post his brilliant knock on the test debut, Clarke continued his form and was the second highest scorer in the series with 400 runs in four matches at 57.14 and also ended the series with an astonishing spell of 6/9 in the final test at Mumbai. Australia registered a historic test series win in India by 2-1 after 35 years.
The brilliant display of batting in overseas conditions in his debut test series launched Clarke into the limelight. He then scored a century in his debut test at home against New Zealand.
Clarke went on an unbelievable run-scoring spree in 2012-13. He scored eight test tons which included three double hundreds and one triple hundred. The year brought 1595 runs at an astonishing average of 106.33 for Clarke.
After winning the Allan Border Medal for his performance in the year 2004, Clarke went through a slump in form the next year where he was dropped from the test team. He could only manage 476 runs in 12 matches throughout the year with the highest score of 91.
Also, Clarke saw some dark times under his captaincy. In the 2015 Ashes, Australians were bundled out for just 60 runs from 111 balls which is the shortest ever first innings in test history. The performance saw Clarke receive severe flak for his captaincy.
In May 2012, Clarke made his debut in the Indian Premier League for Pune Warriors India. He managed 100 runs in six innings and also took two wickets. In 2013, he was appointed the captain of the Sydney Thunders in the Big Bash League.
Clarke was appointed the permanent captain of the Australian side after Ricky Ponting stood down after the 2011 World Cup. Under his captaincy, he led the side to victory in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup and also completed an Ashes whitewash in 2013.
In 47 test matches as captain, Clarke has a 51.06-win percentage whereas, in 74 ODI matches, he has an impressive 70.42-win percentage.
Clarke also captained 18 T20I while winning 12 of them.
Michael Clarke has had an illustrative career and his numbers speak for him. In 115 test matches, Clarke has amassed 8643 runs at 49.10, including 28 hundred and 27 fifties.
He has also scored 7981 runs in 245 ODI matches at 44.58 including eight hundred and 58 fifties. In a short T20I career of 34 matches, he has scored 488 runs at 21.21.
Clarke's 329* is the highest score by any batsman in test history when batting at number five. He is the only Australian batsman to score a century on both home and away debuts.
Clarke has won the Allan Border Medal, the most prestigious award in Australian cricket 4 times which is the joint most with Ricky Ponting.
Clarke retired from ODI cricket after the conclusion of 2015 World Cup. He announced his retirement from international cricket after the end of the 2015 Ashes series.
He became a full-time commentator in 2016 and commentates regularly in Big Bash League and in international matches too.