Mitch Marsh has hit back at “disrespectful” criticism of Michael Clarke, saying the outgoing captain deserves better.
Clarke announced his retirement after the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, where Australia relinquished the urn and lost by an innings and 78 runs.
The 34-year-old will play the fifth Test, which starts on Thursday, before walking away from international cricket.
Former coach John Buchanan and ex-teammate Andrew Symonds have been highly critical of Clarke in recent days.
Marsh suggested the criticism of Clarke had angered the team.
“It has in a way,” Marsh said.
“Certainly it hasn’t been very fair on Michael Clarke.
“It’s been quite disrespectful to someone who has given our game and Australian cricket so much.
“In that sense it’s been pretty hurtful, but I haven’t really read too much about it, only heard it third person.”
Clarke is currently in London, having skipped the three-day tour game in Northampton that starts on Friday at 8pm (AEST).
Marsh, who made his ODI debut under Clarke at age 19, thanked the skipper for his support since.
“From the word go, Pup has been really supportive of me and given me every opportunity,” the allrounder said.
“Once you walk over that white line he’s an awesome captain and just really backs you as a player.
“I’m sure all the players would say that.
“He’s been great for me, great to learn off from a leadership point of view and technically he’s been one of our best captains ever.”
Marsh hoped Clarke would be remembered as a batsman who scored 28 Test tons, many of them coming when the side was under immense pressure.
“He’s been a great player and his stats show that. He’ll go down as one of the legends of Australian cricket,” he said.
“We’re really focused on sending him out on a winning note, which is the way he deserves.”