Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke is one of the best batsmen of this generation. The batting legend’s illustrious international career spanned over a decade during which time he played with and against some all-time greats of the game.
He started his career with Australia in 2003 when the team had the likes of Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn and a host of legendary bowlers. In the latter part of his career, he shared the dressing room with the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner.
During his career, Michael Clarke played against the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Kevin Pietersen, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers and several other legends of the game.
The best seven:
While Michael Clarke played with and against a host of world-class batsmen, he recently named the best seven of the lot. Speaking on Big Sports Breakfast, the World Cup-winner named the seven best batsman he played with or against. In his best seven, he named two Indians, two South Africans and one each from Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka.
“Probably my favourite batsman through my career,” Clarke said.
“You look at statstics and his average is probably not as high as others names on this list but it was the way he played, whether that it was against fast bowlers or spinners. It was the success he had against Australia. That’s the other thing about these batsmen I’ve picked is that they all dominated Australia. You think of an attack with McGrath, Gillespie, Brett Lee, Shane Warne — these guys bowling to these batsmen — and they all found a way to have success.”
“Probably technically the best batsman I ever saw.”
“The hardest batsman to get out. I think Sachin, technically, didn’t have a weakness. Part of you hoped that he made a mistake,” said Michael Clarke.
“I think right now the best batsman across all three formats.”
“His one day and twenty twenty records are phenomenal and he’s also found a way to dominate Test cricket. What Kohli and Tendulkar have in common is they love making big hundreds,” said the ex-batsman.
AB de Villiers:
“I’m hoping he comes back and plays for South Africa again. Superstar. Can bat anywhere in the order. Dominates T20 cricket. He can score runs anywhere around the ground,” he said.
“The greatest all-rounder that I played against, said Michael Clarke before adding: “The impact he had against Australia, the way he was able score runs against our attack was extraordinary.”
“He’s probably the best Australian batsman I played with.”
“I was lucky enough to play with some great batsman — Matthew Hayden, Steve Smith, David Warner, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn who was a genius. What separates Ricky is the era that he played. Just about every attack had two or three top-line, world-class bowlers and he was able to dominate them.”
“He seems to be forgotten regularly.”
“Phenomenal. Batted at number three which I think is the toughest position. I think he scored three hundred in a row in a world cup. Sangakkara was a force and an absolute gentleman of the game,” concluded the Australian great.
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