Captain Michael Clarke and batsman Shane Watson made Test batting landmarks during the first Test against India.
An often shaky batting display from the Australians against India in Chennai was marked with some positive achievements. Veterans of the Australia Test side, Clarke and Watson, reached 7000 and 2000 Test runs respectively.
Skipper Clarke’s performance with the bat helped drag Australia from 153-5 to 316-7 at close of play. His 103 not-out, made mostly in his partnership with all-rounder Moises Henriques, gave the Australians the platform to build up a more respectable total than it first looked like they were going to make.
Clarke became only the 10th Australian in Test history to make 7000 runs for his country and it came fittingly in the nation where he made his début. Back in 2004, Clarke made his appearance as an international Test cricketer, scoring an impressive 151 against India.
89 Tests later and Clarke passed Australian legend Don Bradman’s total Test runs, to join an illustrious list of Aussie batsmen who have reached 7000 runs or more. The list includes Matthew Hayden, the Waugh brothers and Allan Border and is topped by former captain Ricky Ponting.
It was just another fine performance with the bat for Clarke, who has been enjoying a golden period for Australia recently, averaging over 100 with the bat in 2012 and scoring more runs than anyone else in Test cricket in the last two years, with 2247.
Shane Watson’s knock of 28 before being dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin was less impressive than Clarke’s, but he also reached the milestone of achieving 2000 Test runs for Australia.