Michael Clarke

Michael Clarke (above) scored 329 not out at Sydney and 210 at Adelaide against the struggling Indians in January. Now the 259 has taken his aggregate to 1041 runs at 115.66 for the 2012 calendar year © Getty Images

 

By scoring 259 not out at Brisbane, Michael Clarke has walked into a very, very elite club whose sole member thus was Sir Don Bradman. Arunabha Sengupta looks at the feat of two double hundreds and one triple hundred within a year.

 

 

With his unbeaten 259 at Brisbane, Michael Clarke joined the elite company of Don Bradman as the only cricketer to have scored a triple century, along with two double hundreds within the span of a calendar year.

 

Clarke scored 329 not out at Sydney and 210 at Adelaide against the struggling Indians in January. Now the 259 has taken his aggregate to 1041 runs at 115.66 for the 2012 calendar year. What is interesting is that apart from the three mammoth innings, he has crossed fifty only once in the other eight occasions that he has batted. A meagre 188 runs in six innings in the West Indies has somewhat marred a spectacular year.

 

In 1930, Don Bradman had announced himself in England by famously scoring 254 at Lord’s in June, following it up with 334 at Leeds in July and ending the series with 232 at The Oval in August. The Englishmen had been pulverised by 974 runs in five Tests from the bat of the great man. The Don had started the series in a somewhat subdued manner with just 131 at Nottingham in the first Test.

 

Wally Hammond, Bradman again in 1934, Bobby Simpson, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag (twice) have scored a triple and a double hundred within a one-year period.

 

Four other men have come close. Len Hutton missed the distinction by four runs when he fell for 196 against West Indies at Lord’s in 1939. Garry Sobers missed it by two when he was run out for 198 in Kanpur. Sanath Jayasuriya scored 199 a week after his 340 run epic at Colombo. And 11 months before his 380, Matthew Hayden had fallen for 197 against England at Brisbane.

 

Triple and double hundreds within the span of one calendar year:

 

No

Batsman

Runs

Venue

Opp

Date

1

Don Bradman

254

Lord’s

Eng

June 27, 1930

334

Leeds

Eng

July 11, 1930

232

The Oval

Eng

August 16, 1930

2

WR Hammond

227

Christchurch

NZ

March 24, 1933

336*

Auckland

NZ

March 31, 1933

3

Don Bradman

304

Leeds

Eng

July 20, 1934

244

The Oval

Eng

August 18, 1934

4

Bob Simpson

311

Old Trafford

Eng

July 23, 1964

201

Georgetown

WI

May 5, 1965

5

Brian Lara

202

Johannesburg

SA

December 12, 2003

400*

St John’s

Eng

April 10, 2004

6

Virender Sehwag

309

Multan

Pak

March 28, 2004

201

Bangalore

Pak

March 24, 2005

7

Virender Sehwag

319

Chennai

SA

March 26, 2008

201*

Galle

SL

July 31, 2008

8

Michael Clarke

329*

Sydney

Ind

January 3, 2012

210

Adelaide

Ind

January 11, 2012

259*

Brisbane

SA

November 9, 2012

 

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)