Australia captain Michael Clarke failed to muster even the vaguest slither of a smile when speaking to the media after scoring a double century and joining a very select club on Wednesday.
Clarke’s 210 came just two tests after his unbeaten 329 in the second test against India in Sydney and he joined Don Bradman and Wally Hammond as the only players to have scored triple and double centuries in one series.
For Clarke,though,it apparently really is all about the team and he was not about to lose focus on the job in hand until he had seen whether his team could turn their first innings 604-7 declared into a victory and 4-0 series sweep.
I didn’t know that,but it’s very nice,he said when told about matching the feat of the Australia and English batting greats.
It’s very special,no doubt about it. One thing I’ve never been very keen on is statistics and records. It’s about helping your team win and,if things like that come along,it’s very special.
It is hard to believe that just a year ago,Clarke was booed onto the field by an Australian crowd when he took over as temporary captain for the final Ashes test in Sydney.
He took over the job full time last March from Ricky Ponting,who also scored a double century as the pair shared an Adelaide Oval record partnership of 386.
Since then,he has scored four centuries and his average for the India series is a healthy 147.25.
When you are doing well,you need to make big scores because the other side of that is going to come around again and you’re going to have some failures,he said.
It’s a tough game,it’s the toughest game in the world,in my opinion. It’s about enjoying the good times and when things aren’t going so well it’s about hard work and having the confidence that things will turn around for you.
THERE TO WIN
His focus may have come from the fact that the Adelaide wicket is so flat and he needs his team to take 20 wickets on it if he is to have his victory.
Hopefully,we’ll see some deterioration,especially the back half of day four and day five,he said.
I think tomorrow it’ll still be pretty nice to bat on,to be honest,there’s been a couple of balls have stayed low but it’s about as good a batting wicket as you’ll get.
So we’re in for a good workout,the bowlers are going to have to bowl well,and we’re going to have to hold on to every chance in the field.
Even the suggestion that he might look sympathetically on Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar’s quest for a century of centuries failed to draw a smile from the 30-year-old.
I certainly won’t be showing him any sympathy,we’re there to win the game,he said.
He’s going to be really tough to get out on that wicket and we’re going to have to find a way to do it twice.