Clarke’s Adelaide record makes him a shoo-in for Ashes 2nd Test runs


Some cricketers just have certain love affairs with particular grounds. The legendary Sir Don Bradman registered nine centuries in just 11 matches at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, South African Jacques Kallis also has nine 100s at Newlands in Cape Town and Mahela Jayawardene has reached 10 tons at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo.

Australian captain Michael Clarke has some way to go to reach such heights, but his batting record at the Adelaide Oval suggests he may one day emulate these sorts of records.

Clarke has already scored five centuries in just eight matches at the South Australia location, which is two more than anyone else in history at the ground in the Test environment.

Meanwhile, his record in the first innings when batting at number five is even more impressive, with double-hundreds in his last two knocks. Looking back from the most recent first, his last five opening-innings scores at Adelaide read: 230, 210, 71, 110, 118.

Therefore, Clarke’s odds of 11/4 to be Australia’s first innings runscorer in the second Ashes Test is a price that is hard to refuse.

The only fear is that a recent redevelopment of the ground has resulted in a drop-in pitch being used for the first time in Adelaide, which is a pitch that is grown elsewhere before being transported in.

Comments from curator Damian Hough indicate that the pitch may be a little slower than is typically the case, but efforts have been made to ensure that it largely resembles Adelaide surfaces from previous series.

Two domestic Tests have been played on the new pitch and both have ended in high-scoring draws, which advocates that runs can be expected again.

Clarke is 10/3 to score another first-innings 100 in the second Test and 8/1 to be given the man-of-the-match award.

News on the pitch also boosts the prospects of a draw in the Ashes odds, which is the shortest of the three match-betting outcomes at 11/8. Australia are 13/8 to go 2-0 ahead in the series, with England 13/5.

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