Clarke be praised in the City of Churches
YET another full house worshipped Australia's modern-day Bradman in the City of Churches on day two of the second Test at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.
Captain Michael Clarke silenced his doubters, many of them in the English team, with 148 runs in his side's 9-570 (dec) - his sixth century in just nine Tests at the famous old ground.
It is staggering to think that as recently as the second innings in the first Test at the Gabba, the Englishmen spread the field to the Aussie leader so they could keep him on strike.
Fast forward a week and two centuries later, and Clarke is rapidly becoming one of Australia's greatest batsmen.
Yesterday's ton was his 26th in from 99 Test matches, moving him within one of equalling Allan Border's mark, and the sixth-highest on Australia's all-time list of three-figure scorers - and 12th as skipper.
Clarke, whose average since taking over the captaincy is in the mid-60s, also notched up his 1000th run of 2013 - the fourth time he's done that in his decorated career.
He shared a record sixth-wicket partnership at the Adelaide Oval of 200 with wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who compiled 118.
The stand surpassed the effort of Pakistani pair Imran Khan and Wasim Akram who made 194 against Australia in 1990.
Haddin also has an outstanding record in the City of Churches - it was his second hundred at the venue, his third against England and the fourth of his career.
Just as importantly, it was the 36-year-old's first Test ton since November 2010, scored in the last Ashes series on Australian soil.
Haddin revealed recently that a period of more than a year out of the Australian Test team, when he cared for his daughter Mia, who had cancer, helped reinvigorate his game.
Clarke fell just after a drinks break with the score on 457, caught at midwicket after playing a tired-looking shot, to give Ben Stokes his first Test wicket.
The all-rounder should have had his first Test scalp earlier in the day however, having Haddin caught behind, but off a no-ball when the score was 368.
Haddin was eventually the last wicket to fall on 529, caught behind legitimately that time off Stuart Broad.
Paceman Ryan Harris then chimed in, smacking an unbeaten 55 off 54 balls before Clarke declared.
The hosts had the Poms on the ropes at stumps with the score 1-35, Mitchell Johnson producing a beauty to take Alastair Cook's off stump for three.
English opener Michael Carberry survived two chances on the final two balls of the day from a fired-up Johnson. The first was a suicidal run taken by Joe Root, then an lbw shout that would have been out had the Aussies used the DRS.