In his absence, England regained the Ashes – winning by an innings and 78 runs to take an unassailable 3-1 lead, with just The Oval to come.
Clarke, who will now retire from the global game, can walk away with his head held high despite failing to win in England in four attempts.
Clarke added: “The Hadds thing, that’s obviously extremely tough and close to my heart because I’ve been great mates with Hadds my whole career“.
England had no need for its record test wicket taker to secure a crushing victory in the fourth test at Trent Bridge.
The 24-year-old leapfrogged beleaguered Australian batsman Steve Smith and South African star AB de Villiers to reach the summit, and has challenged himself to now maintain that accolade.
The news prompted a flow of tributes, Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland saying Clarke would be remembered for his bravery in trying circumstances both on and off the field. “I spoke to Rodney and we wanted the extra batter and spoke to the captain about it in this particular game, but we’ve always wanted five bowlers, so we probably got that selection wrong”, Lehmann said. In the past 20 months of Test cricket, Clarke has only passed 50 twice, struggling with back and hamstring injuries.
“For what we’ve been through over the last 18 months, to play like we did has been fantastic”, Cook said.
However, Cook has reinvented his leadership skills since the inclusion of few young players and appointment of Australian Trevor Bayliss as coach.
“It’s about having days like Trent Bridge and being part of something as special as this with this group of players”.
Steven Smith, who led Australia in three Tests during the 2014/15 home series against India when Clarke was sidelined with hamstring trouble, is set to take over as captain on a permanent basis.
“Australia are a very good side and they were in form but the way England have gone about their business has made a very good side look mediocre”.
“After every series, we will sit down and review, and I think there is an opportunity for a reflection on our style of play”, Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland told reporters in Melbourne. “But whether they would do any better against the moving ball than what we’ve seen lately – you wouldn’t want to be betting your house on it”.