Timeline of Clarke’s cricket career

HIGHS AND LOWS OF MICHAEL CLARKE’S CRICKET CAREER

January, 2003: The 21-year-old makes ODI debut debut against England in Adelaide, steering his team to victory with unbeaten 39. Unable to crack the final World Cup squad.

October, 2004: Handles Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh with remarkable ease on Test debut, scoring 151 to be named man of the match in Bangalore. Australia win by 217 runs.

November, 2004: Snares an astonishing 6-9 with his left-arm spin, but unable to get Australia over the line against India in the Mumbai Test.

November, 2004: In first Test on Australian soil, the right-hander scores 141 against New Zealand at the Gabba. Status as the golden child of Australian cricket is confirmed.

January, 2005: Wins the Allan Border medal after a stellar year. At 23, he becomes the youngest winner of the award.

November, 2005: Dropped from Test XI after slump dating back to the previous summer. Instead of staying to celebrate a win in Hobart, Clarke opts to fly home so he doesn’t “drag everyone down”.

November, 2006: Earns Test recall earlier in the year against Bangladesh, but is initially overlooked for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Called up after Shane Watson is ruled out through injury, scoring 56 in a crushing win.

April, 2007: Scores 436 runs at average of 87.20 to help Australia win World Cup in the West Indies.

January, 2008: Grabs three wickets in five balls as Australia clinch dramatic last-gasp Test win over India at SCG, best remembered for the controversial ‘Monkeygate’ postscript.

January, 2009: Simon Katich grabs Clarke by the throat after a heated altercation in the SCG changerooms following a Test win over South Africa.

February, 2009: Wins a second Allan Border medal, this time sharing the prize with Ricky Ponting.

September, 2009: Returns from Australia’s Champions Trophy campaign in South Africa due to his chronic back injury.

October, 2009: Ricky Ponting retires from international Twenty20, paving the way for Clarke’s appointment as T20 skipper.

March, 2010: Departs ODI tour of New Zealand and breaks up with fiancee Lara Bingle. Scores a Test ton after returning to New Zealand.

January, 2011: Captains the Test side for the first time when Ponting misses loss to England at SCG due to injury. Retires from international T20 cricket to focus on the other two forms of the game.

March, 2011: Ponting stands down as captain after the side’s World Cup quarter-final defeat to India. Clarke is appointed Test and ODI skipper.

November, 2011: Scores magnificent 151 at Cape Town in fifth Test as captain, but two in the second innings as Australia are skittled out for 47.

October, 2011: Katich opens up about the end of his international career, pointing the finger at Clarke. Clarke denies the accusation.

January, 2012: Highlight of a sensational series against India is his unbeaten 329 at the SCG. It’s the highest score at the SCG and the fourth-highest by an Australian in Test history.

November, 2012: Posts an unbeaten 259 in Brisbane then 230 in Adelaide, but unable to guide Australia to victory in either Test against South Africa.

February, 2013: Joins Ponting as the only man to win four Allan Border medals, having also won the award the previous year.

March, 2013: The first time Clarke misses a Test due to back injury. Shane Watson leads the side, having missed the previous game in India when he flew home after ‘homework-gate’.

August, 2013: Scores 187 against England at Old Trafford, but rain ruins Australia’s best chance of posting a victory in another one-sided Ashes series defeat.

January, 2014: Celebrates Australia’s 5-0 Ashes win over England, having scored centuries at the Gabba and Adelaide Oval when the urn was still up for grabs.

March, 2014: Finishes 161 not out in arguably his greatest innings. Continues to bat despite suffering fractured shoulder after bouncer blow. Australia win in Cape Town and soon after climb to No.1 in Test rankings.

September, 2014: Sent home from ODI series in Zimbabwe after suffering hamstring injury in shock loss to the hosts. Questions why Steve Smith wasn’t picked in the XI for that game.

December, 2014: Retires hurt due to back injury but returns to score 128 in the first Test after the death of Phillip Hughes. Later tweaks his hamstring while fielding and is booked in for surgery.

January, 2015: Public standoff with selectors over fitness deadline for the World Cup. Tension fills the air as he fronts an awkward press conference alongside Rod Marsh.

March, 2015: Passes fitness deadline without issue. Top-scores for Australia in World Cup final with 74, having announced his ODI retirement the previous day.

July, 2015: Admits his poor form has left Australia playing with 10 men in third Ashes Test, but vows he will not retire.

August, 2015: Announces retirement after another two failures with the bat in fourth Test at Trent Bridge, where England reclaim the urn.

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