Michael Clarke's Ashes woes: A sad end to a wonderful career
It’s always sad when a cricketer retires after playing for a long period of time. Regardless of the player's nationality, all of us recall some of the very best moments of that player on the field and smile, and then eventually feel sad because it's the end.
So is the case for Micheal Clarke, I go back to India's tour of Australia in 2011-12. It had been a rollercoaster ride for the Indian team and its fans in 2011. From winning the World Cup to being whitewashed 4-0 by England, 2011 had it all. But the Indians sensed a chance to win in Australia since the team was still raw.
Clarke was in his early days as the captain of Australia but had done well in South Africa just a few weeks ago. It was a disappointing series for the Indian team and ‘Pup’ played a huge part in it. I will always remember that series just because of his amazing batting display.
In the past few years, we have seen many greats say goodbye to this game. If we take the case of Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master made his last international outing on home soil and also in a winning cause.
But if we look at retirements of some other players in the last few years, they have been very sad ones just as Michael Clarke's is now. The likes of Graeme Smith, Graeme Swann, Ricky Ponting, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Micheal Clarke too, suffered defeats in their last series.
That makes it even more miserable for the players and their fans. Smith and Ponting were lucky making their last international appearance on home soil, though in a losing cause. Swann, Dravid and Laxman saw their teams being whitewashed in their last appearances.
These are players who played for a long period of time and with a lot of pride and made people watch them play all over the world, irrespective of which team they played.
Michael Clarke's retirement is also one of these and it's a very sad day for all of us who loved watching him bat and dominate some top quality bowlers. A great player and a great leader, has just one Test to play and I hope that he plays it with full joy and his teammates make it the most memorable Test match of his career.
Michael, you were and will always be my favourite Test player even though you scored a mountain of runs against India. I will remember your batting and captaincy style for a long time to come. Best wishes for your second innings.