Gilly praises Clark

Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has played down suggestions Stuart Clark is the new Glenn McGrath, but was certainly impressed with the debutant paceman's performance in the first Test.

Clark claimed 9-89, the third best figures on debut for an Australian bowler in Test history, and Gilchrist was impressed with how the NSW paceman stepped up in the absence of McGrath.

"We did make the comment during the game how probably unplayable Glenn (McGrath) would have been on that wicket, but Stuie certainly took up the reins in grand fashion and we're all really thrilled for him," Gilchrist told AAP.

"Stuie beat the bat a lot and bowled a very tight line and length. He seemed to release from high up and was pretty straight, stump to stump almost.

"There are some similarities there, but I'll refrain from saying he's the new Glenn McGrath.

"I don't want to burden him with that, but he certainly filled the void beautifully in this game."

Clark could have been the first Australian since Bob Massie in 1972 to claim 10 wickets on debut had a strong appeal for lbw against Mark Boucher been given.

Gilchrist hoped that Clark could continue his superb form into the second Test staring in Durban on Friday.

"Stuie knows the challenge is there to repeat that on any surface, and I'm sure he's keen to take that on."

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