Special innings for Clarke
Michael Clarke has described his century on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa as a "special" effort.
Last Updated: 09/11/11 10:24pm
Australia captain Michael Clarke has described his century on the opening day of the first Test against South Africa as a "special" effort.
Clarke scored an unbeaten 107 as Australia reached the close of play on 214-8, with only Shaun Marsh (44) providing any real support.
And the 30-year-old, who came to the crease with his side on 40-3, says the fact he helped his team escape from a tough position gave him extra satisfaction.
"It was a very special hundred, mainly because we were under pressure when I had to go out there," Clarke said.
"It's always nice to step up when it's tough out there, it's great to contribute and score runs as captain when your team is under pressure.
"Dale Steyn is a very good bowler and today he was quite fast and the ball swung for him. He was pretty fired up, so I had to dig in."
Clarke was not given a warm reception by South Africa seamer Steyn but managed to recover from the tough start, which also included an examination by Vernon Philander.
He added: "Philander is also a good bowler, he has good control and he bowled a good length today, which made it hard to score. He also has a nice seam position and gets a bit of movement."
He added: "I started horribly, I felt I couldn't get my head out of the way and Steyn was getting closer and closer. But I love that challenge and I decided to just let my bat do the talking."
Clarke also admitted that he benefitted from his fair share of luck during the innings but also pointed out that he was rewarded for a positive attitude than saw him compile his total from just 114 balls.
"I needed a bit of luck, but I wanted to show good intent because on pitches like that, there are no guarantees," he said.
"That's why you work so hard on your technique, so you can go back to your basics and just have the confidence to play your own game.
"I needed to be positive, to play my way and I'd rather get out playing shots than get out by being timid."