Michael Clarke names best Test XI

Sport360 staff 18/10/2016
Clarke has named his top Test side.

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has named his best Test XI in his autobiography My Story. Clarke, unsurprisingly, has named as many as seven Australian cricketers in his team, which reflects the amount of domination the Australians enjoyed during his career.

The 35-year-old has gone with Michael Slater and Matthew Hayden as his openers. Although Clarke and Slater never played Test cricket together for the Baggy Green, Clarke states that Slater was his first cricketing hero.

In his book, writing about the batsman, Clarke says: “My first cricket hero. I fell in love with the refreshing, exuberant attitude Slats brought to the game.”

There are no surprises with Clarke’s picks in the middle-order. Heavyweights of the game in Australia’s Ricky Ponting, India’s Sachin Tendulkar, West Indies’ Brian Lara and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis – all of whom who scored more than 10,000 runs in Test cricket – have been picked by Clarke.

The former Australian skipper has gone with Adam Gilchrist as his wicket-keeper. Gilchrist redefined the role of a wicketkeeper-batsman in the early noughties with his batting.

Clarke has picked good friend Shane Warne as the only spinner in the team. Despite the presence of Ponting in the side, Clarke has gone with Warne as captain, describing the legendary leg-spinner as “the best captain Australia never had”.

In the fast bowling department, Clarke has gone with Australians Glenn McGrath and Mitchell Johnson, and South Africa’s Dale Steyn. Johnson was one bowler who thrived under the captaincy of Clarke and won the Man of the Series award during Australia’s 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England in 2013-14.

Despite some fierce rivalry with Steyn over the years, Clarke writes: “We had some great battles on the field as we gave everything to the get our countries on top. I value the runs I scored against him more highly than any others.”

Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan is the 12th man in Clarke’s team.

Most popular

Warne wants ICC action to preserve Test cricket's future

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

The supersonic rise of Twenty20 over the past decade and the lucrative financial gains on offer have hit five-day contests hard.

Falling attendances and the lack of competitive action on the field between some nations have cast a strong shadow over Tests with five-match series now a novel concept reserved only for the Ashes.

For Warne, a man who cemented his legendary status by claiming 708 Test wickets in 145 outings for Australia, the future is not bright for the format he once thrived in.

“Test cricket is in trouble, it’s as simple as that,” the 47-year-old, who was in Dubai yesterday to promote the city’s new Advanced Hair Studio, exclusively told Sport360.


“If we’re not careful, Test cricket won’t be here and around for much longer. You might have your iconic series like the Ashes but people aren’t turning up to watch.”










The leg-spinning great has urged cricket’s governing body to harness more of its power, although he admits that can be difficult with the control respective boards retain.


Warne cited the lack of consistency in DRS use, as one example, that affects the level-playing field cricket has to offer.


And with plans to host the inaugural ICC World Test Championship next year shelved for now – changes are not being implemented quickly enough.


“I think there should be a financial component to Test cricket for the champions, whoever is top of a potential Test championship over a two-year cycle,” added Warne, who signed off from international cricket in 2007 after Australia’s 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England.


“The winning team can do whatever they want with the big cash incentive but let’s encourage people to play Test cricket in an entertaining way.


“The ICC should pay for DRS to be used across the board and it shouldn’t be up to the TV networks in each country to foot the bill. It needs to be consistent and until that happens it’s not balanced.



“Everybody should be equal but obviously Australia, India and England bring in the crowds and the television revenue – they’ve got a huge advantage.


“We shouldn’t be forgetting about the likes of Pakistan who are doing a wonderful job, as it’s not easy not being able to play in front of your own supporters.”


The advent of day-night Test cricket did not boost attendances during the first Pakistan and West Indies Test match in Dubai.


This may not be a good overall marker of the pink-ball product given it was deemed a success on debut in Adelaide last year as Australia hosted New Zealand, but Warne insists the Test match spectacle has to improve and modernise to get people into grounds – just like T20.


He has embraced 20-over cricket as much as anyone else given his involvement with the IPL and last year’s Cricket All Stars trip with Sachin Tendulkar.


He added: “Cricket is one of, if not the most, participated sport in the world. That’s why myself and Sachin spread the word. It can’t be about a few countries, we have to grow the game.”




Most popular

De Villiers reveals worst sledging he's EVER faced

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
AB de Villiers during the South Africa-Australia series in 2014

South African captain AB de Villiers has revealed that the sledging that the Australians handed to South Africa during the 2014 Test series between the two sides was the worst he has experienced over the course of his career.

The Australian team, who have been infamous for their sledging over the years, came into the series against South Africa having defeated England 5-0 in the Ashes just over a month earlier.

Led by captain Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann – nicknamed ‘Boof’ – Australia played an aggressive brand of cricket during those few months.

During the Ashes, there were a few incidents between Australia and England that threatened to boil over, including Clarke’s sledge of England fast bowler James Anderson during the first Test , which went something like: “Get ready for a broken f****** arm”.

Australia seemed to have carried the same attitude in the series that followed, which was against the then No. 1 Test team in the world, South Africa.

Speaking to Fox Sports, De Villiers said: “That was definitely the most abuse we’ve got on the cricket field. When we play England, it’s pretty verbal.

“I also remember touring Australia in 2006 as a youngster, with the likes of Warne and McGrath and Gilly behind the stumps. Still, that was nowhere near what we received in 2014.”

The 32-year-old added that some of the abuse that the Australians handed out was personal.

“Australia certainly made a conscious effort to be verbally over the top. Maybe they felt they could get under us if they really came out and got personal with some of us. I felt it was unnecessary,” said De Villiers.

Australia would win the series 2-1 in what would be the then Proteas captain Graeme Smith’s final series as an international cricketer.

According to De Villiers, a few Australian cricketers apologised to the South Africans at the end of the series.

“Some of the Australian players came up and apologised and felt that it was a little bit over the top. Certainly at times they did go over the top and I think they regret that in some way,” he said

Australia and South Africa face off in a three-match Test series Down Under starting from November 3, 2016. De Villiers was not named in the touring squad due to recent surgery, but is hopeful of making a recovery in time for the third Test which will be a day/night encounter at Adelaide.

Most popular

Related Sections