Michael Clarke became the second most powerful person in the country when he took over from Ricky Ponting to become captain of the Australian cricket team.
At that stage, Australia was on the decline, having dropped to number five in the Test rankings after a 3-1 series loss at home to England.
Since then, Australia has started to reclaim its former glory, highlighted by a crushing 4-0 series sweep against India in 2011-12.
It was against India that Clarke started his Test career, and it would be a series to savour for the then 23 year old. The right-handed batsman scored a fluent 151 on debut, and then claimed a stunning 6/9 later on the tour.
In his first home Test, Clarke once again wowed crowds with a stylish century in Brisbane, which he brought up with a boundary in the final over before lunch.
Like many Australian batsmen before him, Clarke endured a rough period of batting, which saw him dropped from the national side.
His return in 2006 was a special one, as he was a major part of the squad that won back the Ashes. Two centuries, including a match winning 124 in Adelaide helped Australia to the famous 5-0 sweep over the old enemy.
Clarke has had a love affair with his home ground, including three wickets in the penultimate over to steal victory against the Indians.
The New South Welshmen took over the captaincy in 2011 following the disappointing Ashes defeat at home. Not foreign to the role, Clarke had already had experience as captain of the ODI and T20 sides.
He has led his country to series victories against India, the West Indies and Sri Lanka, showcasing his leadership credentials along the way.
The 2011-12 series win against India was a breakout period for Clarke, who hit a clinical 329* at the SCG, and then backed it up with 210 at the Adelaide Oval. During the 2012-13 series against South Africa, Clarke scored 259* and 230 in the first two Tests to become the first player to score four double-centuries in a year. 2012 also saw him take the record for the most runs in a calendar year by an Australian.
Clarke has had a terrific career in the ODI arena as well, where he averages 44.69. Without being a very big hitter, his ability to work the balls into gaps has been a major asset.
He relinquished his role as captain of the T20 side back in 2011 in a bid to concentrate on the longer forms of the game.
Without doubt, Clarke has become the number one batsman in the side. He has learnt more control, especially early in his innings, and is now widely regarded as the key wicket in the Australian line-up.
With multiple Allan Border Medals to his name, Clarke is reaping the rewards of a more patient style of cricket.
Throw in his handy orthodox spinners, as well as his brilliant fielding, and Michael Clarke is quickly becoming one of the premier cricketers of the modern era.