Ashes 2013-14: Australia captain Michael Clarke wants to finish off England with Third Test success
Clarke guided his side to a second victory at Adelaide to leave England in dissaray
Monday 09 December 2013
Australia remain under strict instruction to finish what they have merely started, after crushing England in this winter's first two Tests.
Captain Michael Clarke believes Australia are finally receiving just reward for their efforts, having lost 3-0 to England last summer.
But he insists too there is much hard work still to do against tourists for whom he retains great respect, despite two landslide victories on the back of Mitchell Johnson's "x-factor" fast bowling.
Johnson's first-innings seven for 40 largely settled the outcome in Adelaide, where England were unable to recover from conceding a mammoth 398-run deficit.
Johnson's pace colleagues Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris shared seven wickets second time round, and England were eventually bowled out for 312 to lose by 218 runs.
The second match of five starts in Perth on Friday, and will be both Clarke and his opposite number Alastair Cook's 100th Test.
It is also the venue where, three years ago when he was mostly way short of his best, Johnson underpinned Australia's sole victory. Clarke, however, is taking nothing for granted.
"It's obviously exciting we're going to a ground we feel so comfortable playing at ... but I have also experienced some defeats in my career in Perth.
"So I'm more concerned about making sure we play the same brand of cricket we have so far in this series."
Perth is expected to play to Australia's strengths rather than England's, and Clarke said: "Mitchell, Ryan and Peter love bowling when there is a bit more pace and bounce ...
"It's not a fluke we have won the first two Test matches ... we believe, after the work we have been putting in for a long period of time, we're seeing some results.
"The other side to that is, the reality is we have won two Test matches now in the past 12 months - and that is not acceptable as an Australian test team.
"We have started this series very well, but there is a lot of work still to do."
Clarke himself has made centuries in each of the home victories so far, but Johnson has been the most glaring difference between the two teams.
"He has always been an x-factor, with bat, with ball," said his captain.
"He's as good an athlete in the field as you'll see.
"Mitch has always had that. It's just about working out how to use him best in your team.
"Our attack right now really complement each other, so it allows Mitch to be used the way I feel is best for our team."
Johnson himself is vowing to keep England on the run.
"I guess having that intimidation factor is definitely a bonus.
"It wasn't probably quite there in the last couple of Ashes series for me - so to be able to come out, just back my ability, and know what I wanted to bowl ... I will continue to do that throughout the series.
"I won't let myself get too excited ... it's all about not getting too far ahead of yourself."
Clarke has endured too many disappointments against England in recent years, even months, to allow any complacency.
"We won't take any part of England for granted. They are a very good team with a lot of good players.
"We have to be at our best to keep them down.
"We've prioritised and been very realistic with where we sit as a team - and don't accept being ranked fifth in Test cricket."
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