Michael John Clarke is a retired Australian cricketer and former World Cup-winning captain who is known as one of the country’s best batsmen. He was a fantastic leader who took the initiative and orchestrated some of Australia’s most famous successes.
Michael Clarke was born in New South Wales on April 2, 1981. He batted right-handed and bowled left-arm orthodox spin. He was a one-of-a-kind cricketer who embodied beauty and composure on the field.
He was the number one rated test batsman at the time of his retirement, and he also captained Australia to victory in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Clarke’s father used to own an indoor sports facility, so he grew up with a love for sports. Michael was a good batsman from a young age, and many people expected that he would play for Australia one day.
In 2000, he was a member of Australia’s U-19 World Cup team. At the age of 17, he made his first-class debut for New South Wales against India in a warm-up match at the SCG. In 1999, he was awarded an Australian Cricket Academy scholarship for his talent as a young player.
In England, he also played for Ramsbottom Cricket Club in the Lancashire League in 2002. Michael suffered from debilitating back pain when he was 17, but he worked tirelessly to overcome it, demonstrating great courage at such a young age.
Clarke was easily elevated to the senior ODI squad after news spread about a young promising batsman in the Australian cricketing circuit, and he made his ODI debut against England in Adelaide in January 2013.
On debut, he scored an unbeaten 39 off 57 balls, but he only played one match in the series. In his next ODI match against the West Indies, he scored an undefeated 75 and went on to score 170 runs in four matches at an average of 85.00.
The following year, he made his test debut against India in Bangalore, scoring a spirited 151 off 248 balls in the first innings to help Australia defeat India by 217 runs in their own backyard.
Rise to Glory
Following his superb knock on test debut, Clarke maintained his form and finished the series as the second highest run scorer with 400 runs in four matches at 57.14, as well as an incredible spell of 6/9 in the final test at Mumbai. After 35 years, Australia won a landmark test series in India by a score of 2-1.
Clarke’s brilliant batting success in his debut test series in Australia catapulted him into the spotlight. He then went on to score a century in his first test against New Zealand at home.
Clarke had an outstanding run-scoring season in 2012-13. He had a total of eight research tonnes, three double hundreds, and one triple hundred. Clarke batted 1595 times this year, averaging 106.33 runs a game.
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.
Clarke debuted in the Indian Premier League for Pune Warriors India in May 2012. In six innings, he scored 100 runs and claimed two wickets. He was named captain of the Sydney Thunders in the Big Bash League in 2013.
After Ricky Ponting stepped down after the 2011 World Cup, Clarke was named the permanent captain of the Australian team. He captained the team to victory in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, as well as a whitewash of the Ashes in 2013.
Clarke has a 51.06 percent win percentage in 47 test matches as captain, and a 70.42 percent win percentage in 74 ODI matches.
Clarke has captained 18 T20Is, 12 of which he won.
Michael Clarke has had a remarkable career, and his statistics speak for themselves. Clarke has 8643 runs at 49.10 in 115 test matches, including 28 hundreds and 27 fifties.
In 245 ODI matches, he has scored 7981 runs at 44.58, including eight hundred and 58 fifties. In 34 T20I matches, he has scored 488 runs at a strike rate of 21.21.
Clarke’s 329* is the highest score by a batsman batting at number five in test history. He is the first Australian batsman to reach the century mark on both his home and away debuts.
Clarke has won the Allan Border Medal, Australia’s most coveted award, four times, tied with Ricky Ponting for the most.
After the 2015 World Cup, Clarke announced his retirement from ODI cricket. After the 2015 Ashes series, he declared his retirement from international cricket.
In 2016, he became a full-time analyst and continues to do so in the Big Bash League as well as international matches.