I want to go out on a high, says Australian captain Michael Clarke
Australia captain Michael Clarke was in reflective mood on the eve of his final test match against England at The Oval as he plotted a consolation victory to finish the series on a high.
London: Australia captain Michael Clarke was in reflective mood on the eve of his final test match against England at The Oval as he plotted a consolation victory to finish the series on a high.
Clarke, 34, announced he would retire at the end of the series immediately after his side lost the fourth test at Trent Bridge last week by an innings and 78 runs to relinquish the Ashes.
"There are no fairytales," Clarke told reporters on Wednesday. "We really need to show grit, determination and resilience throughout this test match and play a lot better than we have done in the last couple."
Clarke said he had prepared for the game like any of the other 114 tests he has played.
"It does not feel any different at this stage and I don`t think it will until the test match is finished," he said.
"My focus over the last week has been preparing for this test and making sure my body and mind are as per usual.
"The boys have been training well and we are looking forward to hopefully finishing on a high."
Clarke admitted his team`s performances in the series, which they trail 3-1, had not been good enough.
"Australian fans expect the Australian cricket team to play better than we have done throughout this series and they expect the leader to lead from the front and stand up so the criticism is certainly warranted," he said.
Opener Chris Rogers will also make his final appearance for Australia at The Oval.
"I think this team now needs some fresh energy." Clarke said. "I am really confident Australian cricket will continue to perform and continue to get better.
"I look forward to being able to sit on my couch now and follow the boys closely from there."
Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who has taken 16 wickets in the series, will miss the final test due to niggling injury problems.
"Josh has played six tests since the West Indies tour and the last nine tests for Australia as well as playing an important part in the World Cup," coach Darren Lehmann told reporters.
Australia could recall the experienced Peter Siddle or Pat Cummins on Thursday.