THE series may have already been lost but Michael Clarke still managed to cap off an amazing career with victory at The Oval.
Clarke and veteran opener Chris Rogers were farewelled with an innings and 46-run victory in the fifth Ashes Test, rain providing more resistance than England on day four.
It was a bittersweet exit – Clarke enforced the follow-on in the dead rubber, but finished with 132 runs in the five-Test series.
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His men were the first Australian side to record two wins in an away Ashes since 2001, but lost 3-2.
“I don’t think regret is the right word. There’s disappointment,” he said.
Clarke was hesitant to say too much about the side’s next challenge but said he hopes the void of experience left by the exit of himself, Rogers, Ryan Harris and Brad Haddin is not amplified by national selectors.
“There’s going to be opportunity for a few of the (young) batters,” Clarke said.
“I’d still like to see a few of the old heads stick around though.
“I don’t know if selectors are going to go with that – that’s up to them.”
The skipper had a couple of public standoffs with selectors toward the end of his career and didn’t want to retire with another.
“I want to thank Boof and Rod for all their help and support throughout this series,” he said.
“Sometimes it doesn’t matter what XI you pick, if you play the way we have played in stages throughout this series you are not going to win.
“We let opportunities slide throughout the whole series.”