Australia’s performance as a team might have been below par, and perhaps reached its nadir when India whitewashed them 4-0 in the recent Test series, but Kangaroos’ captain Michael Clarke has been named Wisden’s leading cricketer of 2012 that shows personally he has enjoyed great success since taking the reins of captaincy.

[caption id="attachment_441" align="alignright" width="284"]Michael Clarke is the third Australian player to get the award after Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne (Photo: BCCI) Michael Clarke is the third Australian player to get the award after Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne (Photo: BCCI)[/caption]

Clarke is the third Australian cricketer to get the award after Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne, who were given the accolade in 2003 and 2004, respectively.

The Australian skipper surpassed all batsmen, scoring 1595 runs in the 2012 calendar year at an average of 106.33. His performance included four double hundreds – "a feat not achieved even by Don Bradman", as Australian sports journalist Greg Baum noted.

Clarke said he felt honoured to get the award: "Given the esteemed history and tradition of the Wisden Cricketers Almanac, it is a very humbling accolade and one that I hold in the highest regard.''

He started his 2012 year with an astonishing 329-run, unbeaten innings against India at Sydney. He further scored three more 200s and his last innings of the year was a 106-run knock against Sri Lanka in Melbourne in December.

His supremacy over other batsmen can be measured by the fact that he scored 346 more runs than the next man, England skipper Alastair Cook.

The award of the leading world cricket is relatively a new one and Clarke is only the 10th to be given the accolade. As mentioned earlier, Warne and Ponting have also been given the awards, besides Indian batsman Virender Sehwag who has been awarded twice.

Another award given in the 150th edition of the historic publication, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, was Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year, which includes South Africa’s Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, Dale Steyn, England’s Nick Compton and West Indies’ Nick Compton.

Compton is the only English batsman to receive the award this year for his 1494 first-class runs at 99.6 he scored for Somerset.
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