Clarke puts team matters first

27 December 2012 08:36:31 EST

Captain Michael Clarke insisted that the team come first after setting a new mark for runs scored in a calendar year for Australia in Test cricket.

Michael Clarke has been in superlative form in Test cricket in 2012.

Clarke moved past Ricky Ponting in making 106 against Sri Lanka in Melbourne, taking his tally for 2012 to a magnificent 1,595 runs from just 18 innings.

The 31-year-old right-hander has already made a triple-century and three doubles this year, but was quick to play down his personal glory after his latest exploits.

He told the Australian media: "To me Ricky Ponting is one of the all-time great players Australia's ever had, so to beat Ricky at something is a fantastic achievement - I'm very proud.

"Numbers have never really bothered me too much. It's nice to be making runs and leading by example as one of the leaders in the team and the captain of the team, I think it's really important that the captain is doing that.

"But to me it's about winning games. If I am helping this team have success, then I feel like that's part of my job. As long as we keep winning that's my priority."

Having won the first of three Tests by 137 runs in Hobart are well on course to wrap up the three-match series with a victory at the MCG.

Having bowled the tourists out for 156, Australia have reached 440-8 in their first innings and are 1/999 to go on and win the match, with the draw 1/999.

Meanwhile, the Baggy Greens are 8/1 to win next summer's Ashes series in England.

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