Michael Clarke delighted after dismissing Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket was Michael Clarke’s 14th Indian wicket in his career Test haul of 24 AFP

Sydney: Jan 6, 2012

Captain Michael Clarke on Friday savoured taking Sachin Tendulkar’s prized wicket to send India tumbling to another heavy Test defeat and deny the tourists a first-ever series win in Australia.

Clarke’s dismissal of the “Little Master”, in menacing form on 80, in the 79th over saw Test cricket’s greatest runscorer again denied his 100th international century.

Tendulkar has been stranded on 99 Test and ODI centuries since scoring 111 against South Africa in the World Cup in March.

He was drawn forward to Clarke’s part-time left-arm spin and got an outside edge to Mike Hussey at first slip, and with him went India’s remote hopes of denying Australia victory.

The dismissal triggered a collapse of wickets to deliver Australia a crushing innings and 68-run victory inside four days in the 100th Sydney Test, after they won the four-match series’ opening Test in Melbourne by 122 runs.

The wicket, Clarke’s 14th Indian wicket in his career Test haul of 24, was the icing on the cake after the Australian skipper’s unbeaten 329 in the first innings made him the undisputed man-of-the-match.

It was Clarke’s first bowling stint in Tests this Australian summer season and came at a crucial point, with Tendulkar threatening to go on to post a huge score.

“It’s a very nice wicket to have, that’s for sure,” Clarke said. “To be able to get such a great player out is a very handy wicket so I was stoked with that.”

But Clarke warned that Tendulkar would again threaten to dominate Australia’s bowlers in the remaining two Tests of the series in Perth and Adelaide.

“Sachin s been such a great player for so long, everyone goes through that period,” he said. “Touch wood, it s nice that he s not made his 100th hundred in this series, but there s a long way to go.

“Never write off great players. As a team we have the greatest of respect for him and we know we need to execute our skills against him or he ll make lots of runs.

Clarke said he was not “writing off” India’s misfiring batsmen, who have been dismissed for totals of 282, 169, 191 and 400.

“I think India s batting line-up is as strong as I ve ever played against,” he said.

“They have a lot of greats of the game, they ve scored a lot of runs. I would never write off great players so we need to make sure we are at our best in Perth (next week).”

But he praised his bowlers for dismissing India’s batting lineup on a flat Sydney wicket to take a grip on the Border-Gavaskar series.

“I think we have wicket-taking bowlers in our attack, we have guys who can get a breakthrough, that s probably one of the most pleasing things as a captain,” he said.

You can turn to any one of our bowlers to try and take a wicket, so that makes life easier for me.

“We re able to build up pressure at the moment, we re bowling a lot of dot balls, we re bowling maidens, we re restricting the batsmen and that s what’s taking wickets.” (AFP)