Michael Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke will retire at the end of the current Ashes series, bringing a dismal end to a storied 114-test career, Channel Nine reported on Saturday.

Time looked to be running out for Clarke after he failed again with the bat on Friday as his team slid towards a humiliating Ashes defeat.

The Australian newspaper said Clarke had been told there would be no place for him in the side after the fifth test at the Oval and so Clarke had decided to retire from test cricket.

Clarke stopped playing Twenty20 cricket for his country after taking over the test captaincy from Ricky Ponting in 2011 and played his final one-day match for Australia in the World Cup final triumph earlier this year.

On Friday, leaden-footed and ill at ease at the crease, Clarke eked 13 grudging runs from 37 deliveries before being caught in the slips off seamer Mark Wood on day two of the fourth test.

His wicket all but ensured England will be spared from batting again at Trent Bridge, while hastening an inevitable 3-1 series defeat for the outclassed tourists.

Clarke 34 now averages 16.71 for the series, the worst performer among Australia’s recognised batsmen who have played more than two tests in the series.

Were Clarke to drill harder into the figures, he might note an unedifying similarity to the dismal returns Ponting managed in his last test series as captain, when he averaged 16.14 from eight innings in the 2010/11 Ashes series.