Between the start and the conclusion of Ashes 2015, as many as five Australian cricketers announce their retirement, four from complete international cricket, and one from the Test arena. Veteran Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin is the latest addition to the list, the other four being Michael Clarke, who led the team in Ashes 2015, Chris Rogers, who has announced his decision to retire prior to the tournament, Ryan Harris, who quit the sport just before the big series owing to persistent injury issues, and Shane Watson, who retired from Tests after a failed Ashes 2015 campaign.
Brad Haddin: He knew his time was up. Although, Haddin has stated that he has given up the sport to spend more time with his family, the fact is that he wouldn’t have been preferred even if he was willing to carry on. After a superb 2014 Ashes, he completely lost his touch. He got a half-century in the Melbourne Test against India late last year. But, he registered failures in West Indies, and managed only 22 and 7 in the first Ashes Test at Cardiff. Post that, he went on leave citing family reasons. It was to mark the end of his career.
Shane Watson: One could actually see it coming. Watson was under pressure to perform in the first Test at Cardiff. He could not. The tendency to play across the line and fall over got him into serious trouble, as he managed only 30 and 19, and went wicketless as well. Watson was promptly dropped, and midway through the one-day series, announced his retirement from Test cricket. He hasn’t been doing anything great in the shorter versions as well, and the latest injury may spell troubled times for his overall international career.
Michael Clarke: He hadn’t announced his retirement prior to the Ashes, but so poor was his showing, he had no option but to step away. Clarke had an embarrassingly poor farewell, with a best of 38 across 10 visits to the crease. He only crossed 30 once more in the series. In the last three Tests, he could not even get into the 20s. His nimble footwork and judgment were clearly a thing of the past. And, the guard of honour was the only memorable memory he took out from the Ashes.
Chris Rogers: Unlike Clarke, Rogers had announced his decision prior to the series. And, he played without any baggage. Rogers reserved his best for the last as he slammed a big hundred at Lord’s, got 95 at Cardiff, and scored two more half-centuries in the series. In an Ashes dominated by English batsmen, Rogers stood out for the visitors.
Ryan Harris: Australia had plenty of hopes from Harris as they looked to defend the Ashes. But, Rhino’s body had the final say as he quit international cricket prior to the start of Ashes 2015. He finished his Test career with 113 wickets at an average of 23.5.
--By A Cricket Analyst