If Martin Crowe wants to give the New Zealand top order an example, he need look no further - read on:
Not bad for a bloke with a bit on his plate.
Arriving to a warm reception, Michael Clarke left to a rousing one last evening after he shrugged off his personal dramas to scorch to a century in the final session of the first day of the cricket test at the Basin Reserve.
Clarke stressed before the game that he was in the zone despite flying home to address a complex relationship, and he reinforced that with an innings that was initially cautious before he flicked a switch in the final session.
He went from nine to 100 not out between tea and stumps as he and the other Australian under the spotlight, Marcus North (52 not out), drove the Australians into the commanding position of 316-4.
New Zealand's promising day went belly-up as two men with a point to prove took toll of a tiring attack that was clueless in the 10 overs leading up to the second new ball. The choice of part-timer Martin Guptill to bowl the 76th over was effectively a waving of the white flag.
It wasn't always vintage Clarke. There was a clunk on the helmet and a top edge perilously close to the wicketkeeper but as always he used his feet well against spin and plundered loose offerings.
Clarke took 102 balls for his first 50 and just 39 balls for his second as he and North thrashed 140 in the 28.1 overs up to stumps.
He described reaching three figures on the last over of the day bowled by Brent Arnel as a "special feeling".
We've seen more than a few test hundreds, and Clarke's was one of the better ones, albeit against a limited bowling attack. It was a textbook test match innings. He took his time to get established, then took toll of a tiring attack later in the day. Two shots stick in our memory; a boundary just after tea where he turned the wrists at the very last minute to beat backward point, and an effortless straight-hit six of Dan Vettori which was all timing.
Clarke may have a turmoiled life away from cricket, but he showed yesterday that he is a batsman of the highest class. We were privileged to watch him; we hope that Black Caps' batsmen took note.
UPDATE: Australia pulls the pin at 459 for five. Clark's innings ended at 168 (his highest test match score) thanks to an excellent leg-side stumping by Brendon McCullum of Vettori. It seems to us a very early declaration, with North set, but the weather forecast for Day Four is not good, and perhaps Punter Ponting wants to advance the match. Let's hope that the Black Caps can compete with the bat.