Top form … Michael Clarke in Hobart on Friday. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Clarke remains on track to join cricket royalty Don Bradman and Garfield Sobers in the record books despite his early dismissal on Saturday. Bradman, Sobers and Ricky Ponting are the only players to have scored more than 1000 Test runs in a calendar year while also averaging more than 100. Clarke's 74 has taken his run tally in 2012 to 1432 at a princely 102.28. The captain will need to make at least 68, or record some red ink in the second innings, to keep his average in triple figures heading into Australia's final Test of the year, in Melbourne.
PUNTER PACKS AWAY PAST
Ricky Ponting has claimed nearly every major trophy in world cricket but he says he does not have any memorabilia in his home. ''I've kept a lot of it but it's stored in bags in the garage,'' Ponting said. ''I've never wanted cricket to be too big a part of our home lives. Rianna really knows nothing about the game. When she started reading some of these articles after the Perth Test match she said 'I didn't realise you were the leading run scorer [for Australia].''' If Ponting has a change of heart, the first two items to find a place will be his beloved baggy green cap and the bat he used in his last Test, he said, ''but my house will never be shrine to cricket''.
David Warner has accepted the blame for the mix-up which denied him the chance for back-to-back Test centuries in Hobart. The dynamic opener, who carried his bat with a century in Australia's unsuccessful fourth-innings run chase against New Zealand a year ago, said the run out was the result of ''batsman error''. ''I called 'yes' and 'no' and they're the simple things the guy at the other end can get muddled up,'' Warner told ABC radio. ''Once you say 'yes' they're committed to running … Usually you try and check your shot then call yes or no.''
RUN OUT OF LUCK
Chris Gayle's unfortunate run out for Sydney Thunder on Friday night reminded The Tonk of another West Indies great who was caught short of his ground in bizarre fashion. The WACA Ground pitch had been Curtly Ambrose's friend on many visits to Australia but on this occasion, during a Test in 1997, it led to his downfall. The giant paceman wedged his bat in a massive crack as the ball broke the stumps.
We've been given buzz words such as ''processes'', ''good areas'' and ''execution'' by coaches and cricketers in recent times and Mickey Arthur may have come up with a new term - ''middle management''. Arthur used the phrase to describe Test newcomers David Warner, Ed Cowan and Matthew Wade in a radio interview on Saturday. The coach urged the the ''middle management guys'' to fill the void left by Ricky Ponting's retirement.
WEIGHT OF THE WORLD
Trevor Bayliss has conceded it will be tougher for the Sydney Sixers to defend their Big Bash League title because of their world champions tag. The Sixers stamped themselves as the best Twenty20 franchise in the world in the Champions League in October and are shooting for their 13th consecutive victory on Sunday, against the struggling Perth Scorchers at the SCG. ''It will be harder to win,'' Bayliss said. ''Once you've got the champions tag next to you, I think most teams you come up against step it up a level.''
Inzamam-ul-Haq has been appointed as a batting consultant on a series-to-series basis by the Pakistan Cricket Board. ''He has faced the Indian bowlers so he is able to work with our players and discuss and let them know how he approached the same bowlers that we are going to approach,'' Pakistan's coach Dav Whatmore told AP. The Pakistan-India series, the first between the neighbours in five years, features two Twenty20s and three ODIs beginning at Bangalore on December 25. Tours between them were suspended when 166 people were killed in the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai.