THE man who led Australia's Test revival in the past year, in strategy and in performance, has been formally rewarded for that effort.
Michael Clarke last night won his third Allan Border Medal, and also a second Test player of the year award, for a mighty period in which he towered above all his specialist-batsmen teammates.
While Clarke was beaten on a countback for the ODI award by Shane Watson - he then beat Ricky Ponting for the Test award in the same circumstances - and no longer plays Twenty20 Internationals, he comfortably beat Mike Hussey and Watson to claim the overall award.
The last time Clarke won the top award, in 2009, he shared it with the man he replaced as captain: Ponting. Last night, it was announced the pair were split in Tests, although in all but the top award ties are discouraged.
A year ago, after both endured miserable Ashes campaigns, Clarke was fifth in the Test award and Ponting 10th. This year, the pair sat atop that category after scoring 2004 runs between them: 1167 runs at 68.64 by the new captain, 837 at 52.31 from the old one.
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