Saturday, March 20, 2010

Clarke's performance not surprising

From the past one month or so, all news that Michael Clarke was able to make was regarding his break up with some female whose relation with Michael Clarke is needless at the moment and at the same time not clear as well. Clarke returned to the Australian cricket with a bang when he scored an unbeaten 100 runs in the first test at Wellington against New Zealand. It was not Bangladesh or the West Indies whom Clarke was facing to say that the weak opposition helped Clarke nor it was Brisbane or Sydney where Australia were playing to say that Clarke had the home team advantage.

In addition to Michael Clarke, there were other Australian players like Simon Katich and Marcus North who aided Australia in putting up a mammoth total of 316 on the board on day 1. This was achieved at a run rate of less than 4 which once again points towards Australia's losing momentum after the retirement of big guns a couple of years ago. However, this was more than enough for and against teams like New Zealand who are best suited for teams like Pakistan and may be England and that too under home conditions. The bowlers from New Zealand could get the wicket of just three Australian batsmen, with the other one being run out.

If not for Mike Hussey on a rare occasion, the rest of the Australian batsmen showed no signs of fear towards the New Zealand bowlers. There could have been only one bowler who could put pressure of some sort on the Aussie batsmen and that was Shane Bond who bid adieu to test cricket. If that is to be kept apart, the lone bowler who could do that job to some extent would be Daniel Vettori not because of his extraordinary bowling skills but due to the fact that Australians are bad players of spin bowling. But the other side of the coin is that so is New Zealand.

Even New Zealand fear spin bowling more than Australia due to the fact that atleast Australia have a decent batting run up which is not the same when it comes to New Zealand. It would not come as a surprise to anyone in case the same Michael Clarke who id much of the damage to the Kiwi bowlers turns up to do the same with the ball as well. Clarke would have two advantages, one owing to the fact of New Zealand's approach to spin bowling as stated earlier and two for having a mammoth total on the board which would persuade him to try and do different things. In case he fails in that, there is Ryan Harris and co who can settle things for Aussies.

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