Write & Earn
Notifications

Stats: Michael Clarke's Test career in numbers

The Australian Test skipper will retire from international cricket after the fifth Ashes at The Oval.

Michael Clarke Australia Ashes
Clarke will retire after the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval

"Clarke could do anything with the bat, but he has matured into one of the game's most professional, reliable and focussed players, and has been entrusted with the task of leading the Test team out of a trough,” journalist Peter English once said. That assessment, unfortunately, will not become a reality as Michael Clarke is set to call it quits from international cricket after the Ashes series debacle. 

Clarke’s reign as Test skipper leaves more questions than answers. He signed off in style from the ODI format by top scoring in the final of the 2015 World Cup against New Zealand, thereby clinching cricket’s showpiece trophy for the fifth time.

However, his dream of winning the Ashes on English soil will remain unfulfilled, but he will be hoping to go out on a high in the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval which begins on August 21.

Clarke – The batsman

Pup burst onto the Test arena with a century on debut against India at Bangalore and is undoubtedly one of Australia’s best batsmen ever in the longer format with an average of just under 50. He has scored 8628 runs from 114 Test matches and sits fourth in the list of Australia’s leading run-getters.

Since reaching a career high average of 52.97 in March 2013, Clarke’s batting average has been on a downward trajectory and dipped below 50 for the first time since April 2012 after the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

Australia's leading run-getters in Tests

No 

Player

Matches 

Innings

Runs

Average

1

Ricky Ponting

168

287

13378

51.85

2

Allan Border

156

265

11174

50.56

3

Steve Waugh

168

260

10927

51.06

4

Michael Clarke

114

197

8628

49.30

5

Matthew Hayden

103

184

8625

50.73

He has scored 28 Test centuries, just one shy of the legendary Sir Donald Bradman, with half of them coming while captaining the side and lies fifth in the list of century makers for Australia. The opposition he has scored the most number of 100’s against (7), along with India, is the same England that has seemingly forced Clarke out of the game. 

His highest score of 329* against India in 2012 at the SCG, the highest at the ground in its 100-year history is Australia’s fourth-highest individual score in Test cricket. He scored another double century against the same opposition and a further two against South Africa to become the only player to score four scores in excess of 200 in a calendar year.

However, his last Test century came against India at the Adelaide Oval in late 2014 and he hasn’t scored a century in any format since. 

Clarke averages 30.89 after 61 innings at No.4, with only five centuries. This is the lowest average of any No.4 with a minimum of 50 innings since South Africa’s David Nourse. 

Comparatively his average rises amazingly to 61.83 from 108 innings at number five, the second highest of any player who has batted 50 times in that position, just behind AB de Villiers (63.82) who has played 66 innings.


Most number of centuries for Australia in Test cricket

No

Player

100s

50s

Highest Score

1

Ricky Ponting

41

62

257

2

Steve Waugh

32

50

200

3

Mathew Hayden

30

29

380

4

Allan Border

29

13

334

5

Michael Clarke

28

27

329*


Clarke – The skipper

He captained Australia to victory in the 2015 World Cup on home soil before retiring from the format to prolong his Test career amid nagging hamstring troubles, but things have unfortunately not gone according to plan. 

Clarke led Australia in 47 Tests, the sixth most by an Australian, but his record as skipper is not one to gloat about. Taking over from the country’s most successful captain in Ricky Ponting was never going to be easy, but he failed to rejuvenate an ageing side that was clearly in need of reinforcements. 

He may have lost only 8 Tests, but in terms of winning percentage for skippers who have led in at least 15 matches, Clarke stands all-time ninth.

Australian Test Captaincy record
No Captain Matches Win Draw Loss Win %
1 Steve Waugh 57 41 9 7 71.92
2 Sir Don Bradman 24 15 3 6 62.50
3 Ricky Ponting 77 48 16 13 62.33
4 Lindsay Hassett 24 14 4 6 58.33
5 Bill Woodfull 25 14 7 4 56.00
6 Monty Noble 15 8 5 2 53.33
7 Mark Taylor 50 26 13 11 52.00
8 Ian Chappell 30 15 5 10 50.00
9 Michael Clarke 47 23 16 8 48.93
10 Greg Chappell 48 21 13 14 43.75

Clarke’s Ashes record

For any Australian cricketer, the benchmark is always the Ashes. With England regaining the urn at Trent Bridge, Clarke has now lost four Ashes campaigns and more matches on English soil than any other Australian cricketer.

He has an impressive record against their fierce rivals,  but this series has been one to forgot.

“I think it’s always going to be hard to beat any opposition when they’ve got 11 and we’ve only got 10,” Clarke said after the loss in the third Test. Indeed, his average of 16.71 is the second worst by an Ashes captain after Ricky Ponting who managed just 16.41 in the 2010-11 Ashes.

That disastrous tour brought Ponting’s career to an end and four years down the line, the same fate has come to his successor as well.  

Fetching more content...