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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 10:11 GMT
Clarke joins special Aussie elite
Michael Clarke
I was very nervous today - I think I'm nervous every time I play
Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke has become the third Australian to score centuries on his first Test appearances home and away.

Clarke hit 141 in Australia's 564-9 against New Zealand but is realistic enough to know his magical introduction into Test cricket may not last.

He said: "There are going to be down times and I know that and expect that.

"At the moment I've had a little luck and I've played well so I hope that can continue. I just want to continue making the most of the good times."

Harry Graham was the first Aussie to score a hundred in his first Test innings away from home and in Australia, back in the 19th century.

Kepler Wessels repeated the feat in the 1980s and now 23-year-old Clarke, who hit a century on his debut in Bangalore in October, has joined that elite group.

He showed no fear when he reached three figures on Saturday with an audacious hooked four off the last ball before lunch and has now scored 541 runs in nine Test innings at a stunning 67.62 average.

He said: "That last ball before lunch all I was thinking was just getting through and come back after lunch with Gilly [Adam Gilchrist].

"The ball just happened to be in the right spot and luckily for me it came out of the middle of the bat."

Clarke was reluctant to compare his two Test centuries.

It's pretty frustrating, especially when he goes on to get a hundred
Daniel Vettori on Gilchrist's escape on seven

"The hundreds were different conditions, different circumstances, I definitely can't compare them, they are both as special as each other," he said.

"I was rapt to play my first Test in Bangalore, it was the day of my cricketing life, that is very special, but I've had most of my family here watching today.

"I was very nervous today. I think I'm nervous every time I play so I don't find that difficult to accept."

Gilchrist helped Clarke add 216 for the seventh wicket, a record against New Zealand.

But the Aussie wicket-keeper had survived two confident appeals for lbw against Vettori, the first when he had made only seven.

Vettori said: "It's pretty frustrating, especially when he goes on to get a hundred. It's a pretty big momentum swing, but it's something you can't control."

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