Former Australian captain Michael Clarke turns 40 on Friday (April 2), and birthday greetings are pouring in from him from all across the globe. Born in New South Wales, Clarke is one of Australia’s greatest batsman who led his national team to the 2015 World Cup triumph. The right-handed batsman was technically sound, and piercing his defence used to a daunting task for bowlers. Clarke belonged to the rare breed of batsmen who flourished under pressure. His knack of delivering under pressure guided Australia to many memorable triumphs. Not to forget, he was a handy left-arm spinner and live wire on the field. 3 Reasons Why Steve Smith Might Not Get A Single Game in IPL 2021!

Australia were dominating world cricket when Clarke made his international debut in January 2003. He had the challenge of cementing his place in the side with the likes of Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann and Andrew Symonds already settled in the middle-order. Nevertheless, the then youngster made way for himself with his consistent performances and became a regular face. He played one match-winning knock after another and eventually was elected to fill Ricky Ponting’s big boots as Aussie captain. Leadership indeed brought the best out of Clarke as he tormented many prominent bowling line-ups. As the talismanic cricketer turned a year older, let’s look at some lesser-known facts about him.

Michael Clarke Quick Facts:

# Michael Clarke was born on April 2, 1981, in Liverpool, New South Wales.

# He captained Australia in the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2000.

# The right-handed batsman scored a century on his Test debut against India.

# In 2012, Clarke became the first batsman to register four double centuries in a calendar year.

# His tally of 1595 Test runs in 2012 is also the most for an Australian in a calendar year.

# In 2015, Clarke became the fourth captain to take Australia to World Cup glory.

# He won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, thereby winning the ICC Cricketer of the Year award 2013.

# The left-arm spinner also took a five-wicket haul against India in Test.

Clarke eventually announced his international retirement in June 2015, and a great era came to an end. After hanging up boots, Clarke became an active commentator and gave his voice in many games. He’s also known for his bold statements as he never shies from appreciating or even criticising a player or team.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 02, 2021 02:16 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website