Michael Clarke has all but confirmed Brad Haddin’s Test retirement.
The fifth Ashes Test, which starts at 8pm AEST on Thursday, will be the final chapter of Clarke and Chris Rogers’ international careers.
The void left by Clarke and Rogers, two of the side’s most experienced players, will be hard to fill during a two-Test tour of Bangladesh in October.
The veterans are not the only players to have stepped down during Australia’s wretched tour of the UK.
The winds of change started sweeping through the 17-man squad before the first Test om Cardiff, when Ryan Harris was forced to retire on the eve of the series due to an injury setback.
Haddin, who returned to Sydney for family reasons earlier this month, was unable to force his way back into the XI after missing the second Test to spend time with his daughter in hospital.
The wicketkeeper has always kept a low profile – Haddin confirmed his ODI retirement almost two months after the World Cup finished in March.
Haddin and Cricket Australia are yet to comment on the situation, but Clarke indicated the 37-year-old’s international career was over.
“Brad Haddin has probably played his last Test match,” he said.
“I’m not sure about the rest of group to be honest, I don’t think it would be fair of me to make that decision.
“Any time you lose four senior players to your XI it’s certainly (a time of) change.
“But I’m really excited about what lies ahead .. about the talent we have not just in this squad but back home in our first-class system.”
Shane Watson, who has been usurped by protege Mitch Marsh during the Ashes, may also struggle to play another Test.
However, Watson remains a key figure in Australia’s ODI and Twenty20 sides.
Fawad Ahmed was close to a Test debut earlier this year but has since fallen down the spin pecking order.
Like Fawad, Peter Siddle is set to also finish the series as a non-playing squad member.
Siddle, who also toured the West Indies in May, has been impressing in the nets but unable to win over national selectors.
Clarke was upbeat the Victorian still had a future in the Test side.
“Sidds is only 30 so I think he’s got plenty of time left in him and he’s been
a big part of the Australian Test team over a period of time,” Clarke said.
“Sidds is still working extremely hard and continues to get better.”