Michael Clarke: Retiring Australia captain criticises Ashes pitches

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke captained Australia to World Cup success this year

Australia captain Michael Clarke bowed out of international cricket by criticising the pitches during his side's Ashes series defeat in England.

Australia were beaten 3-2 by England, despite winning the final Test by an innings and 46 runs at The Oval.

The 34-year-old said he wants to see groundsmen have the "courage" to go with what they think is a good wicket.

"I want to see good and fair cricket for both batters and bowlers," said Clarke, who lost on four Ashes tours.

"You're given a role, a responsibility, and a job and you want to be able to do your best at that.

"I've got a feeling, from the conversations I've had with a lot of the groundsmen in this country, they're a little bit disappointed they haven't been able to do as they've wanted to do."

The five-Test series was played at Cardiff, Lord's, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Oval respectively.

"I think we've seen in the first two Test matches a lot of talk from the media and the commentators about how flat the wickets were, yet those two Test matches were over in four days. One team won and one team lost. The next three are over in two and a half, three days," continued Clarke.

"If the groundsman feels he knows how to produce a good wicket that will be a great battle of Test match cricket, then I'd like to see them back themselves and go with that and not be persuaded by what's said in the media or what the commentators say."

Clarke, who is handing his captaincy to Steve Smith, added there was still plenty of reasons to be positive about the future.

"The team's full of talent, there's no doubt about it," he said.

"There's going to be opportunity for a few of the young batters but I'd still like to see a few of the old heads stick around.

"I've always believed the best teams have a mix of youth and experience and I think we can still have that in this Australian team."

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