Sydney: Free-flowing praise continue to splash Michael Clarke for his unselfish declaration against India in the Sydney Test, with Matthew Hayden saying that the Australian skipper is a "grown up" player now after going through a lot of changes in his personality.
Hayden, whose own Australian record of 380 runs was under threat from Clarke, said Clarke`s innings showed he has matured as a player.
Clarke had every chance to eclipse Hayden`s record and Brian Lara`s world record of 400, but chose to declare Australia`s first innings while he was unbeaten on 329.
The declaration gives Australian side enough time to bowl India out in the second innings of the match and ensure a win.
"You`ve got this skinny little white fella, who comes from the west, and who had a certain sheen about his persona - bright and shiny and bubbly," Hayden said.
"I think we`ve seen some variation in his personality and that`s just what growing up means. He came into the set-up as a round little 21-year-old in the West Indies tour, full of life, full of spunk, and caught the eye of one Shane Warne. He sort of put a lot of faith in behind him, as did the rest of the team.
"It`s been a long time coming. [But] he`s grown up in the set-up, and there`s not a lot of guys do that. They come in, like Ed [Cowan] has, at 29, with a well-rounded, fully developed personality and ready to take on the world," Hayden was quoted as saying by `Sydney Morning Herald`.
Clarke said he did not think of surpassing Sir Don Bradman and Mark Taylor`s highest Test score innings of 334.
"I didn`t think about it (Bradman and Taylor`s record). It wasn`t in my head," Clarke said after third day`s play.