Sydney, Mar 9: Michael Clarke is fighting a lone battle to rescue Australian cricket, which is in transitional period, from its current doldrums, and the captain is carrying hopes of the entire nation on his shoulder, according to sports journalist, Peter Lalor.
“He neither administrates nor legislates, but Australia cricket captain Michael Clarke stands alone as a levee against the surging tides of mediocrity threatening the nation’s favourite sport,” Lalor wrote in his column for News.com.au.
“It is hard to imagine a time when one batsman was so important to the game – perhaps only Don Bradman, who contributed such an unequal proportion of a side’s runs on such a consistent basis to his team’s tally,” he added.
“It is, however, more than just control of his craft that Clarke has brought to the game since assuming the captaincy in late 2011. Michael Clarke as leader has exceeded expectations,” he wrote.
Lalor further added: “The bleating noise of public opinion as represented by the popular media’s opinion makers and internet push-polls has been silenced and treated with the same disdain a batsman at the top of the game treats any amateur long hop.”
“His actions and his time in the middle have turned the tide. As captain he has shown a steady, creative and nuanced approach to the tactics and spirit of the game,” he further mentioned in his column.
“As a batsman he has shown a depth of talent that seemed inconceivable improbable even. Clarke entered the game in an era when debuts were earned and not cast about in the hope that some seed would land on fertile soil. The Australia team of 2004 bristled with talent,” he added.
“These are different times and during Clarke’s two years in the big job, 12 players have made their debut. The side he captains in India today bears little trace of the great era. The elders’ anxieties are replaying themselves, but in the new leader they sense traditional values that make letting go easy,” he concluded. (ANI)