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game, set and MATCH – Aussie’s finish off test !

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more to come…

Excellent innings by M. Clarke – 2nd Test India v Australia

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‘We’re starting to see the real Michael Clarke’ – Taylor

Daniel Brettig at the SCG

January 5, 2012



Michael Clarke celebrates his triple-hundred, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2012

Mark Taylor: “He’s a guy who loves the game of cricket and I don’t think people have quite understood that with Michael.”© Getty Images


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Players/Officials: Michael Clarke | Mark Taylor
Series/Tournaments: India tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | India


Michael Clarke‘s unbeaten 329, and the manner of its conclusion, have made “enormous inroads” for him to be respected by all in Australia and beyond, former captain Mark Taylor has said. Having made a similarly significant score and declaration when unbeaten on 334 against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998, Taylor believed Clarke would have very few detractors left after spending time as a polarising figure when vice-captain to Ricky Ponting.

It should not be forgotten that Taylor’s own successful tenure as captain of Australia was preceded by a period of doubts about his capabilities. Allan Border’s deputy, Taylor, had his fitness, batting style and suitability for one-day cricket questioned, and was even dropped to 12th-man duties at the conclusion of a poor summer against West Indies in 1992-93. However he flourished when granted the captaincy in 1994, and said Clarke had made a similar graduation.

“You earn respect by the gestures and what you do in the game, the way you play the game,” Taylor said. “I think all these things will really help Michael Clarke. But I really think since he’s become the full-time captain, we’re now starting to see who Michael Clarke really is.

“I think up to that stage, when you’re vice-captain, particularly when you’re vice-captain to a guy like Ricky who has been around for so long, been such a good player, captained three in World Cups, it’s hard to do the vice captaincy job right and keep everyone happy. In fact it’s impossible. I think a lot of people focused on the negatives of Michael Clarke, but now he is the main man and I think we’re starting to see the real Michael Clarke.”

As a Cricket Australia board director, Taylor was one of the power-brokers who approved Clarke’s ascension to the captaincy, while as part of the Argus review panel he has played a key role in building the new support structure around him. He said Clarke had always shown a genuine love of and flair for the game, but it was only now as captain that many in the public could take notice of this.

“I think he’s made enormous inroads this summer and I’m delighted to see it because personally, I’ve always been a big supporter of Michael Clarke,” Taylor said. “I’ve seen for a number years what people are now seeing from Michael Clarke. 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 needed another 72 to break the record. He could’ve done that and still had two days to bowl India out and win this Test match. He could’ve achieved both goals but what he wanted to say is ‘yes, I want to do well myself, every player does and that’s human nature, but I want to captain a side that’s going to win first’ and that’s a very important thing to have.”

In Peshawar, Taylor spent a night unbeaten on Don Bradman’s 334 before deciding to declare, and said Clarke’s innings and its circumstances brought back plenty of memories. In any innings of that magnitude the batsman can become locked into a “zone” of timing and concentration, where it is their own fatigue and lack of a clear goal that can dismiss them as much as any bowler.

“Having watched Michael today, you get to the stage when you get to 200 plus where you are really in that zone Greg Norman [the golfer] talked about,” Taylor said. “Every ball is hitting the middle of your bat and I couldn’t see him getting out, to me I only experienced it once in my career and that was in Peshawar on the second day.

“Michael hopefully – he is a younger man than I was – will get a chance to experience it again, because it took me right until the end of my career to get to that stage. It’s [about] continuing to look for some reason to keep going, because the first thing you are told as a batsman is to get a 100 … then you get to 200 and you think ‘I’ve now got a big 100 – how many more do I get?’

“That’s when people often dong one up in the air or play a shot they haven’t played for two or three hours. Michael kept going all the way and it was only the first ball after he got to 300 that he had a big flash at a wide one. That’s the one you could easily nick and be out for 303 and look back on that one ball as the only time you didn’t concentrate for ages. That can happen when you get to a score like that and you start getting tired.”



great day for Clarke; fantastic innings for Aust.

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Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day

Michael Clarke erects a monument

Michael Clarke battled fatigue to give Australia a tremendous lead and then put his team’s interests first by choosing not to pursue Brian Lara’s world record

Daniel Brettig at the SCG

January 5, 2012

Michael Clarke slog sweeps, Australia v India, 2nd Test, Sydney, 3rd day, January 5, 2012

It was symbolic of the cricketer he has become that Michael Clarke reached his triple century with an unsponsored bat© Getty Images

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In A Private Man*, Malcolm Knox’s fictional web of cricket, family and porn, a down-on-his-luck Australian batsman walks out to the SCG seeking a “monument”, the kind of innings no-one can question. Chris Brand carves a triple century, rough-hewn but admirable, and concludes it with a haughtily glib press conference.

Michael Clarke is cut from very different cloth to Brand, whose hard-bitten visage, harsh tongue and bawdy off-field pursuits are drawn from an earlier era of international cricket, but his undefeated 329 in Sydney was monumental by any measure. This was far more apparent on day three than day two, as Clarke dragged his clearly tired limbs through another three hours and 78 runs to move from 251 to the highest score ever made at the ground.

It was a display of resolve over fluency, mind over matter, and team over individual. Clarke’s chief intention throughout was to place his side in the optimum position, first getting them out of trouble, then putting them in the lead, then streaking away from India to invite the possibility of an innings victory. As his score grew and grew, surpassing milestones this way and that, Clarke’s eyes were less on the record books than the scorecard and the Members Pavilion clock – he wanted maximum time to try to bowl India out on a surface that has been anaesthetised since day one’s early life.

Nevertheless, in chasing a team imperative Clarke also erected a resounding statement about himself and his batting. There have been other innings played in more difficult circumstances, most memorably in Cape Town last year, but also at Lord’s in 2009 and even his debut century against India on a Bangalore turner in 2004. But the Sydney effort outdid them all, at least in terms of its vastness and consistent command of the bowling. With the exception of a return catch shelled by Ishant Sharma when Clarke was 182, at no stage did he look anything but completely in control of himself and his shots. R Ashwin will seldom face a more confounding opponent, whose fleet-footed approach to finger spinners has caused no less an authority than Graeme Swann to call Clarke his most difficult opponent.

Against the fast bowlers, Clarke’s driving, both straight and through cover, was elegance unsurpassed, and he also showed plenty of power when tensing his arms to pull-drive several shortish deliveries through straight midwicket. His onside flicks carried the faintest whiff of Mark Waugh, not least that which scurried across the straight midwicket boundary to take Clarke past 300. Next ball Clarke swished fruitlessly at a ball wide of the stumps, but it was an error worth mentioning only for how much a surprise it was.

Every monument, of course, requires scaffolding to support its construction, and in Michael Hussey Clarke had the best of partners. If the stand of 288 with Ricky Ponting was heavier with significance, Clarke’s unbeaten 334 with Hussey was the most unrelenting. Only three more bountiful fifth-wicket stands have existed in Test history. Given a few of his recent travails, Hussey had every right to feast on tired bowlers, and his free scoring allowed Clarke to conserve energy with quieter periods, including 20 overs without a boundary on the third morning. Between Clarke’s marathon, and Ponting’s drought-breaker, Hussey’s 150 assumes similar dimensions to Adam Gilchrist’s century alongside Steve Waugh on this ground in the 2003 Ashes – among the very best innings noticed by no-one.

No-one except Clarke, who had clearly considered Hussey’s impending 150 more closely than the galaxy of batting records within his own reach. His closure arrived as Hussey raised his bat in acknowledgement, right on drinks at the midpoint of the match. Most at the ground were still discussing whether or not Clarke would make a play for Brian Lara’s world record, 72 runs away, and virtually all had recognised the passing of the 334 shared by Don Bradman and Mark Taylor as a given. Instead they were startled out of their seats by the sight of Clarke and Hussey jogging off, intent on rounding up India’s batsmen a second time.

As the crowd recovered from their initial shock, admiration became the more universal sentiment. Clarke’s performance was entirely worthy of the occasion, and he honoured it further by placing his team first. There were those in the past all too ready to criticise Clarke as a self-absorbed individual, mollycoddled by management and sponsors before his 20th birthday and living in a bubble ever since. Those detractors had been put in their place already by the end of the second day, and they shrank still further from view on the third.

It was not insignificant that Clarke made his runs with a clean-skin bat after Slazenger, the company that signed him up on a six-figure sum as a teenager, chose not to renew their deal with him for 2012. Having turned away from the Twenty20 dollar, Clarke has become far more of an establishment figure than had ever seemed possible when he began. Sydney has shown him to be much the better batsman for it, worthy of a place above the likes of Lara, RE Foster and Doug Walters as scorer of the highest innings at the grand old ground. His captaincy is gathering strength with each series, and by constructing a monument at the SCG, Clarke has the job for as long as he may want it. Even a character as gnarled as Chris Brand would have to be impressed by that.

Novena to Saint Anthony for Any Need

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Novena to Saint Anthony for Any Need

St. Anthony, you are glorious for your miracles and for the condescension of Jesus Who came as a little child to lie in your arms. Obtain for me from His bounty the grace which I ardently desire. You were so compassionate toward sinners, do not regard my unworthiness. Let the glory of God be magnified by you in connection with the particular request that I earnestly present to you.

[State your request here.]

As a pledge of my gratitude, I promise to live more faithfully in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and to be devoted to the service of the poor whom you loved and still love so greatly. Bless this resolution of mine that I may be faithful to it until death.

St. Anthony, consoler of all the afflicted, pray for me.

St. Anthony, helper of all who invoke you, pray for me.

St. Anthony, whom the Infant Jesus loved and honored so much, pray for me. Amen.

case of a bad translation.

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note web site…..

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