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OTD | Australia’s World Cup winning captain, Michael Clarke was born on this day in 1981

OTD | Australia's World Cup winning captain, Michael Clarke was born on this day in 1981

Australia has been a powerhouse of world cricket since the early days of cricket. In their rich legacy of cricket, Australia has seen some of the world’s best captains in their ranks who have won multiple glories for their country. Since the beginning of this century, Ricky Ponting has been hailed as Australia’s best captain till date and now Pat Cummins is taking the baton forward.  

However, amongst them, there has been another Australian captain– Michael Clarke who during his heydays made the Australian team a juggernaut and led them to a World Cup and an Ashes victory at home. Born on 2nd April 1981, Michael Clarke has been one of the most stylish batters in Australia and a successful captain.  

Michael Clarke, also known as ‘Pup’, was an expectational batter. He amassed 8,643 runs for Australia in 115 Tests at an impressive average of 48.83. In ODI cricket too, Clarke has a decent batting record. He averaged 44.59 in ODIs as he scored almost 8,000 runs in 245 matches. He was considered one of the finest batters of spin bowling. 

Ricky Ponting’s rightful heir 

Michael Clarke took the captaincy baton from Ricky Ponting post-2011 when the latter bid adieu to international cricket. Although Clarke was leading a world-class team, the players were still not of the same pedigree as they used to be. It was mainly because many greats of the earlier Australian team such as Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warner, and Glenn McGrath had just retired some years ago and he was handed a new team with some fresh players.  

Michael Clarke took responsibility heads on and made a strong Australian outfit for the 2015 ODI World Cup. Australia went on to win the 2015 ODI World Cup comprehensively under the leadership of Michael Clarke as he was successful in carrying on the successful legacy he inherited from his predecessors. 

However, post the euphoria of winning the ODI World Cup win, Clarke’s stint with Australia as captain and a player ended shortly as he was constantly marred with injuries, especially a back injury. Also, the Ashes loss against England in 2015 didn’t help the cause either, yet Michale Clarke is fondly remembered as one of the most successful captains of Australia. 

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