Sydney: Michael Clarke's unbeaten 329, and the manner of its conclusion, have made "enormous inroads" for him to be respected by all in Australia and beyond, former captain Mark Taylor has said. Having made a similarly significant score and declaration when unbeaten on 334 against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998, Taylor believed Clarke would have very few detractors left after spending time as a polarising figure when vice-captain to Ricky Ponting.
It should not be forgotten that Taylor's own successful tenure as captain of Australia was preceded by a period of doubts about his capabilities. Allan Border's deputy, Taylor, had his fitness, batting style and suitability for one-day cricket questioned, and was even dropped to 12th-man duties at the conclusion of a poor summer against West Indies in 1992-93. However he flourished when granted the captaincy in 1994, and said Clarke had made a similar graduation.
"You earn respect by the gestures and what you do in the game, the way you play the game," Taylor said. "I think all these things will really help Michael Clarke. But I really think since he's become the full-time captain, we're now starting to see who Michael Clarke really is.