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SCG boos to become cheers for Clarke

AAP logoAAP 2/01/2014 Joe Barton
Clarke © Brendon Thorne/Getty Images Clarke

The last time Michael Clarke led Australia onto the SCG for an Ashes Test, he was met with a chorus of boos.

It was just three years ago, but if you ask the Australian captain about it now he'll deny it ever happened.

Not that he needs to worry about anything similar taking place on his beloved home ground this time around.

Tomorrow, with his team racing towards an astonishing 5-0 whitewash, the Australian captain is unlikely to be showered with anything but praise.

It's a remarkable turnaround for the curiously divisive skipper, and one he barely even acknowledges.

Clarke was booed roundly as he joined Andrew Strauss for the toss for the fifth Ashes Test of the 2010-11 series, taking over the captaincy in place of an injured Ricky Ponting.

He was badly out of form, averaging less than 20 for the series, and was struggling with a public view that he was more flash than substance.

But he was still the Australian captain.

On his home turf.

It was unheard of.

Fortunately, it hasn't been a mental burden for Clarke, who on Thursday insisted that it never happened in the first place.

Certainly the brilliant Ashes victory this summer will become the defining memory of his captaincy, but how could Clarke forget one of the lowest points of it?

"I got booed at the Gabba, but I never remember being booed in my home ground," Clarke said.

"But I remember (being booed in Brisbane) fondly.

"It sums up the game we play. There's tough times and you need to find a way to get through that.

"Then there's the other side when you perform well and the team does well and the same people that boo you stand and applaud."

As they no doubt will at the SCG tomorrow.

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