But the latest bit of admiration has come from a legend himself, Sir Vivian Richards.
“Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. What I loved more than anything else was seeing the way he went about his business. It was like an executioner with bat in hand. He was precise, he watched his way through, he calculated what he could get done after assessing the situation and after spending time at the crease,” said the West Indian great Richards about Clarke’s swashbuckling double ton on the first day of the 2nd Test between Australia and South Africa in Adelaide.
Clarke hammered 40 fours and one six in his 257-ball 230, leaving Richards as well as many others witnessing the match stunned.
“It was entertaining and is why people should never give up on Test cricket when you can get that sort of stuff. I know the South Africans were short a bowler or two, but it was just a magnificent display of batting . . . just cynical, just very, very cynical. It was the first time in a long time I have enjoyed proper batsman-ship, especially when [Dale] Steyn went off and [Morne] Morkel came on when he was the only one left [after Steyn and Jacques Kallis were injured] and Clarke flayed into him – five boundaries in the over – it was incredible,” Richards said.
“I saw the look on [Proteas captain] Graeme Smith’s face and it was like ‘wow, wow, wow, what should I do next? What are the options?’ It was due to [Clarke's] aggressive style. With batting like that who says Test cricket is dead.”