Melbourne: Michael Clarke believes the added responsibility of captaincy has been a factor in his remarkable year as a batsman. Clarke won his third Allan Border Medal in Melbourne on Monday and it was no surprise after a 12-month period in which he topped Australia's run tally in both Test and one-day international cricket, and took over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting.
In contrast, the previous year was much leaner for Clarke, who averaged 31.30 in Test cricket in the 12 months up until last year's Allan Border Medal. The highlights of Clarke's 2011-12 were his triple-century against India at the SCG and his double-hundred in the Adelaide Test two games later, but he made a ton in each of Australia's four Test series and topped the run tally in three of those.
"I think the added responsibility of captaining the team has probably made me stand up and lead from the front," Clarke said. "People see the rewards when you stand up on the big stage, they don't see the hard work you do off the field. When you have the chance to go and bat for Australia in the middle of the SCG or the Adelaide Oval, that's the fun part, that's the part where you just walk out and enjoy yourself because the hard work has been done.