With the Aussies being humiliated in England, Michael Clarke's captaincy was coming into doubt. Could the man still be the captain of a team with such a glorius past?
Clarke's batting was also coming under scrutiny as he was unable to play any big innings during the first two Test matches.
People even wanted to see Clarke coming as late as No.6 while batting. Is this how bad he had become?
However, Australia's ever so reliable middle order batsman rose to prominence in the next match, as Australia won the toss and chose to bat in the hard surface of Old Trafford in Manchester. Australia's batting seemed to once again be in trouble as Shane Watson and Usman Khawaja fell without making big scores.
With Chris Rogers battling it out on the other end, Clarke needed to form a partnership, otherwise there would be too much pressure on youngster Steve Smith, without much Test match experience, and David Warner, who was going to bat out of position.
Needing no reminder that without him his team would once again fail, Clarke set out to score a team lifting century on day one. Even after Rogers fell, Clarke continued building a steady partnership with Smith, who seemed ever so relaxed on the crease with Clarke's experience being on the other end.
The calmness that Clarke brings on the pitch not only affects him, but the other batsmen batting with him. That is why Rogers and Smith were able to pull off decent partnerships and make impressive individual scores.
That is why Clarke is so needed in the Australian batting order, one of the few that has remained from the Australian cricket glory days.
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