In the world of cricket, few records stand as tall as Brian Lara‘s unbeaten 400-run innings in Test cricket, a summit reached in 2004 against England. For nearly two decades, this record has remained untouched, but former Australian captain Michael Clarke is now suggesting that a change in batting order could herald a new era.
Brian Lara’s 400: A monumental achievement
Notably, Lara’s remarkable innings in 2004 has long been a benchmark for batters worldwide. The 400-run feat has proven to be an unconquerable mountain, with only a handful even coming close to challenging it.
Michael Clarke’s bold prediction
On a recent episode of ESPN’s Around the Wicket Podcast, Clarke shared his insights on who might be the player to finally eclipse Lara’s record. Clarke has set his sights on the prolific Australian batter, Steve Smith.
The retirement of David Warner has left a vacancy at the top of the Australian batting order. Smith, expressing a desire to open, caught Clarke’s attention. Clarke reckoned that this move could be the catalyst for Smith to reach new heights in his career.
Also READ: Australian skipper Pat Cummins spills beans on the possibilities of Steve Smith replacing David Warner as Test opener
Highlighting Smith’s unparalleled skills as a batter, Clarke is confident that the challenge of opening could bring out the best in him. The former skipper envisions Smith surpassing Lara’s record within a short span if given the opportunity at the top of the order.
“If he wants to do it, I think they will allow him to do it. Listening to Patty Cummins’ quotes, I think it’s a simple swap. I think Cameron Green is going to come in to open the batting for David Warner unless Steve Smith wants to do it. If he does, they might go Steve Smith to open and Cam Green at No.4 or Green to No.6,” said Clarke.
“He [Smith] is that good a player. It might be that challenge he’s looking for. If he opens, he will be the best opener within 12 months. Don’t be surprised if he breaks Brian Lara’s 400 record because he’s that good and now he’s got the whole day,” added Clarke.
- 1 Brian Lara’s 400: A monumental achievement
- 2 Michael Clarke’s bold prediction