Michael Clarke unlikely to have a happy final Test at The Oval


The Ashes has been a graveyard series for a number of international cricketers over the past few years.

Graeme Swann, Matt Prior, Kevin Pietersen and, bar a brief comeback, Jonathan Trott all saw their time with England come to an end after 5-0 whitewash series in 2013/14.

Now, after relinquishing the urn on away soil, Michael Clarke has announced his retirement from international cricket.

The Australian skipper will play the fifth and final Test of the series at the Oval before ending a career that has lasted 114 matches, 28 hundreds and over 8500 runs.

In truth, his form in this Ashes battle has been a long way short of the class he is known for, but ultimately convinced him the time was right to step aside.

Steven Smith, himself under scrutiny after failing to reign himself in during the Trent Bridge defeat, will surely step in as the new captain of Australia for the side’s two-Test tour to Bangladesh.

For Clarke though, the Oval will be the scene of his final Test and, as his stats there suggest, there could be friendlier venues for him to have an international swansong.

The London ground is Clarke’s worst ground anywhere in the world that he has played at more than once, averaging just 15.75 in five knocks there and never passing 28.

Whether he scores runs or not, Surrey’s home ground will be a sombre scene for Clarke as he waves goodbye to the game, but those emotions couldn’t be more different for Alastair Cook’s England.

In what will be a Test of celebration, Ladbrokes make both sides matching 11/8 chances to claim victory, with the draw available at 3/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.