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3rd Test: Michael Clarke is Ravindra Jadeja's bunny


Cricketnext Staff,Cricketnext
Mar 15, 2013 at 08:35pm IST

New Delhi: Cricket's long and rich history includes a memorable list - for the man holding the ball, at least - of bowlers and their bunnies. Think of the word bunny and images of Shane Warne tormenting Daryll Cullinan, Glenn McGrath celebrating the wicket of Michael Atherton and Ricky Ponting standing dumbfounded at a leaping Harbhajan Singh come to mind. Now, there is another fast-growing bowler-bunny combination making headlines in Test cricket - that of Australian captain Michael Clarke and his latest tormentor, Indian left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

Clarke, a superb player of spin and the best batsman in the side, has been dismissed four times out of five in the series to Jadeja. The numbers read: 167 balls faced, 66 runs scored, four times dismissed for an average 16.50. Pretty ordinary for an excellent batsman who averaged 52.97 coming into the third Test and who dominated all bowling attacks in 2012.

In the first innings of the Chennai Test, Clarke (130) chipped Jadeja to long-off an hour before lunch on day two. In the first innings in Hyderabad, he missed a sweep at Jadeja on 91 and was bowled. Later in that match, Jadeja produced a terrific delivery, with plenty of drift and a hint of turn, to beat Clarke's forward prod. The ball cannoned into the off stump and left Clarke looking stunned.

3rd Test: Michael Clarke is Ravindra Jadeja's bunny

India left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja celebrating an Australian wicket. (BCCI)

The latest dismissal to Jadeja came on the second afternoon in Mohali. Clarke promoted himself to No. 3 but lasted just one ball; looking to dominate immediately, he was beaten in flight and Dhoni was swift to react. In consecutive deliveries, Jadeja had removed David Warner and Clarke.

But Jadeja chose to be a bit modest in his reaction when asked if he has had the Australian captain's number.

"Bunny...I don't know. It's just that whenever I have the ball, he is there facing me," Jadeja said. "It's a very important wicket because if you allow him to settle down, he can make big scores. So I am very thrilled," he added while speaking after day two in Mohali.

If India go on to clinch the Border-Gavaskar Trophy - and all signs are pointing at that with Australia 273 for 7 at stumps on day two - then Jadeja's utter dominance of Clarke will be a major factor. And he can rightfully claim to have made the Australian captain his bunny.

Bowlers to have dismissed Michael Clarke the most

Ishant Sharma - 14 Tests, seven dismissals

Dale Steyn - 10 Tests, seven dismissals

James Anderson - 13 Tests, six dismissals

Steve Harmison - 13 Tests, six dismissals

Anil Kumble - 10 Tests, six dismissals

Zaheer Khan - 14 Tests, five dismissals

Harbhajan Singh - 13 Tests, four dismissals

Daniel Vettori - 11 Tests, four dismissals

Matthew Hoggard - Nine Tests, four dismissals

Paul Harris - Six Tests, four dismissals

Mohammad Asif - Six Tests, four dismissals

Rangana Herath - Five Tests, four dismissals

Ravindra Jadeja - Three Tests, four dismissals

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