In walking out with his team in dire straits against a fired up South African attack on a very willing pitch that allowed the ball to talk. he took on a Frazier like guise, taking every blow as if it was a love tap, then my word did he come out devastating with his swinging!
This, despite the attack had him cornered on the ropes commandeered by a lethal Dale Steyn that nearly knocked him down with a brutal short ball assault. Though he was beaten, but not bowed, and even Steyn knew this. When out of sheer frustration, after a perfect forward defence he threw a ball inches over Clarke's head.
Victory to Clarke, and in his dismissive gaze to Steyn. Even the man that is one of the best bowlers in the history of the game knew that he had threw his best blows, but none left even a mark.
What followed after was truly breathtaking
A player always viewed as a complete batsmen in terms of his stroke play, and mastery of any conditions or bowling compelled all of us with his play.
He truly stood alone, as the rest were so easily blown away.
It made fans of Clarke have their hearts warmed. For he has been a bit like little boy lost since his dalliance, and break up with the Lara Bingle. That let him be known for the women he laid with, the tattoos he put on his body, and the underwear he chose to model.
This paparazzi type fanzine attached to him seemed to get into his subliminal, and duly he has spent near on two years in the batting wilderness. A 2010 that saw him average 36.71, that was very much propped up by feeding on the New Zealand bowling benevolence (average 86.33 in 3 Tests) saw his head be very much on the block with the insipid Ashes display.
The start of 2011 saw him looking disinterested, as he was burdened with the Captaincy after Ricky Ponting was injured. He poked and prodded at the batting crease and was a shadow of his former self in the last Ashes mauling in Sydney. The Australian public showed their disapproval of him with boos at his home ground, and calls for his head after the game.
Instead, the boo boys had fuel poured on their fires with him being named as the successor to Ricky Ponting as Captain.
Heads were buried in hands, as the universal thought was how can a player with a reputation of flakiness, and so hopelessly out of form be bestowed with Australia's greatest honour?
Next to zero faith in him by most, if not all to be even adequate in the job, and the old timers saw a sequel to the dark times of the mid 80's with him being so reminiscent of Kim Hughes.
Flashy, breathtakingly talented, but so unsuited to be a respected leader of men....
How wrong we have been, and duly how much he has left us non believers with egg to clear of our faces!
For he has been the man that has not only lead front the front in his individual play. That would made die for the Baggy Green types like Alan Border and Steve Waugh stand up and applaud.
Though he has also unified the group that was so fractured and disselved after the Ashes into one that has a renewed belief and enthusiasm in their play.
A Captain that showed in the victorious Sri Lankan series that had such an inventive and lateral way of finding an edge. That hasn't been seen since the Ian Chappell pragmatic and charismatic style of leadership.
Leaving us all shocked again, but this time in complete awe of how great he has been!