Steven Smith
Steven Smith will replace Michael Clarke when the latter retires from international cricket later in AugustAFP

Cricket Australia has confirmed that Steven Smith will succeed Michael Clarke as test captain after the final Ashes 2015 instalment against England.

The tourists, whose surprisingly heavy series loss was confirmed during a dreadful capitulation at Trent Bridge last week, travel to The Oval on 20 August in a quest to stop Alastair Cook's side winning four matches in a home Ashes series for the first time in history.

Clarke's own chronic lack of form with the bat – he has averaged just 16 during Australia's failed tour so far – coupled with the manner of his team's defeat led the 34 year old to confirm his intention to retire from international cricket following one final test at the helm.

Smith, currently third behind Joe Root and AB de Villiers on the International Cricket Council's (ICC) rankings of the world's best test batsmen, had already been named as skipper for the upcoming one-day international series against England and is also set to lead his country in the Twenty20 format until Aaron Finch recovers from a rib injury.

He can now add test captain to his list of achievements too, with controversial opener David Warner set to serve as his deputy.

"We have had a clear succession plan in place for the captaincy with Steve Smith gaining valuable experience leading the Australian test team while Michael Clarke was recovering from injury last season," national selector Rod Marsh said of the new appointments.

"When Michael made his decision to retire last week it was a very straight-forward decision for us to nominate Steve as his successor. He has big shoes to fill but everything about him suggests he is the right man for the job. At 26, he is a fine young man with extraordinary talent, excellent leadership qualities and a terrific temperament.

"He is highly regarded by the selectors and we congratulate him on being appointed to the role on an ongoing basis. He should be incredibly proud."

On the choice of Warner as vice-captain at both test and ODI level, Marsh added: " We have reached a point in time where we've had to look at our leadership positions again with an eye to the future. David has matured and developed into an important senior figure in the Australian team. He has come a long way.

"He had valuable experience captaining the Sunrisers [Hyderabad] in the IPL earlier this year and we are confident he will provide strong support to Steve as his deputy. We believe that he will respond well to the added responsibility of leadership."

Smith is averaging 45.62 during the current Ashes series and his top score of 215 was posted during Australia's dominant second test victory at Lord's. The 26-year-old will take charge of the test side for the the tour of Bangladesh in September and October.