Australian captain Michael Clarke is the last surviving representative of one of the most fearsome batting sides to play test cricket and when it comes to century-making he’s been head and shoulders above his teammates in the past two years.
Fledgling coach Darren Lehmann has made it clear to his players that the team need to bag more three figure scores as individuals, having been deeply dissatisfied with the amount seen in recent Tests.
Clarke is the only Aussie still playing his trade for his country to have mustered more than a single century since the beginning of 2012 and in their most recent Test series in India the skipper was the sole visiting centurion across all four matches.
The New South Wales native will arrive at the crease at Trent Bridge with the experience of four Ashes series in his locker, with two of those tussles for the urn contested in Britain.
The experienced right-handed batsmen very nearly got off to a ton-tastic start in his maiden encounter with England at Lords back in 2005, falling on 93 and since then he’s posted two centuries across 17 innings as an Ashes tourist.
Both of those big scores came on his most recent tour of theses climes, with tallies of 136 and 103-not-out posted at Lords and Edgbaston respectively.
Clarke has been in nifty form with the willow in recent Tests, just once failing to post a score of 40 or more during his last five matches.
Scores of 130 and 91 in India are testament to his ability to adapt to differing conditions as a batsmen and he proved that he’s equally at home on English wickets once more when pummelling 124 off just 98 balls in the Australians’ most latest tour match against Worcestershire.
His reliable recent scoring shows that the pressure of captaining a side in transition has not hampered his batting and his coach’s demand for more tons is expected to be a motivation rather than a millstone for the Aussie skipper.
An older, wiser and more experienced practitioner than when plundering two centuries on his last Ashes tour here, the 9/1 about him leading by example with an even better three centuries this time around looks an intriguing wager.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.