The Australian captain, Michael Clarke, has been in stupendous form ever since he took over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting and his run of hundreds, double hundreds and a triple ton has propelled him to the top of the ICC rankings. And to think that there was a school of thought in Australia that doubted his captaincy abilities simply because they perceived him to be a bit unlike an Aussie.
Aussies like to think they are macho, drinking lots of beer and always up for a fight while in Clarke they thought was a man, who liked sports cars, flashy companions and the posher things in life and so was not a regular bloke, who could lead their cricket team. How wrong they have been and how perceptions don’t always match reality is a fine example in Clarke's case.
His willingness to look for results from seemingly impossible situations has made him a leader that is now loved by the Australians and they are now quite optimistic that he will take them to the number one position sooner rather than later.
He got another double ton at Adelaide in the second Test and it was only a fighting century from the debutant 'Faf' du Plessis that prevented Australia from going one up in the three Test series.
If Michael Clarke has been a revelation as a skipper then Marlon Samuels also has rediscovered himself in the last one year. He was sporting the number 730 on the back of his shirt ostensibly for the two year ban that he had to endure for a suspected involvement with unwanted connections in the game.
Whether those two years away from the game were utilised by him to introspect or what nobody knows, but there is no doubt that the underachiever has now become a super achiever going by his record in the last one year.
Lots of people, who have never played the game reckon that scoring a century against Bangladesh is the easiest thing in the world, but there are innumerable top players, who despite playing plenty of Tests against the Bangladeshis, who do not have a Test hundred against them.
If anything it is extremely tough to focus when you play a team that does not have a great bowling attack and all it takes is for one error and the greatest of batsmen are back in the pavilion ruing their missed chance.
Monty Panesar grabbed his chance when picked to play the second Test in Mumbai and with his haul of wickets spun India to their doom and helped England level the series. He had tremendous support from Graeme Swann, who also bowled superbly to keep the pressure on from both ends and did not allow the Indian batsmen to break free.
However it is Marlon Samuels and Michael Clarke with their huge double tons, who are the CEAT International Cricketers of the Week.
Professional Management Group