Two captains and two old prime ministers

India 191
Australia 4/482

This was one of Test Cricket’s memorable days. A resurgent Australian XI againt a fading Indian XI.

Australia were in real trouble when Ricky Ponting came to the wicket at 8/2 late yesterday. They were no further advanced when Ed Cowan got a poor umpiring decision shortly thereafter ( 2 out 3 poor calls in a short career might crush a lesser character than the doughty Ed).

Ponting and Clark had skipped along quite merrily in the last session yesterday (OK – I have been listening to a bit of Donovan Leech lately – Google him you young readers).

They came out this morning – Ponting raging against the dying of the light, and Clarke – still seeking to establish himself as more than the Anointed One.

What followed was the fulfilment of desire. Ponting got the century that had eluded him for two years. The footwork was there. It was good enough to nullify the challenge of the good balls, and good enough to enable him to play some classic shots including those lovely ones where he picks up the ball on the rise and directs through mid wicket and mid on. In an interview later in the day, he said that he had to re-evaluate and break down his technique, and put in a lot of practice. A recognition that the determination must be mentally and physically harnessed.

Clarke has probably played the innings of his career. He was simply superb. His balance was perfect as he drove through the covers, past mid off, mid on, and mid wicket as well as off his pads. The only Bingle was on 182 when he hit a chance straight back at Ishant Sharma who could not hold on to the powerfully struck drive. Tomorrow affords him the opportunity to put the game beyond India’s reach and put him into the record books.

While all this was transpiring the Channel Nine cameras searched the crowd and found memorable pictures of two old Prime Ministers. John Howard accompanied by Janet sitting majestically in the Members Stand, one of the Queen’s chosen 24. Bob Hawke accompanied by Blanche down on the boundary with the blokes in the $2 shop multi-coloured sombreros and the blokes in the Indian One Day shirts shaking hands, signing autographs and posing for photos.

Two Captains united in purpose – Two old Prime Ministers with different views of the meaning of a day at the Test.

JJ Leahy


  1. Peter Schumacher says

    I always thought that Howard was OK but his ability or lack thereof to be seen as friend of the common man viz a viz Hawke absolutely screamed out.

    Oh and yes the cricket was pretty good as well.

    I have been a Clarke doubter for years but am very happy to say that I have changed my mind having been proved completely wrong. He has to have skill and ability to bat the way he did and character to declare when seemingly he had any one of a number of final records in his grasp. Well done him. Can’t forget Ponting’s effort either in picking himself up from the floor and some other snoozer who made 150.

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