Clarke disagrees England have psychological edge ahead of Ashes

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The Independent Online

Michael Clarke has dismissed suggestions England's resounding victory in the final of the World Twenty20 would give them a psychological edge against Australia in the Ashes series next winter.

England beat Australia by seven wickets in Bridgetown on Sunday to record their first ICC world trophy.

While Twenty20 skipper Clarke was disappointed to lose, he believes it will have little impact on the outcome when England travel Down Under next winter to defend the Ashes.

"It always hurts losing to England in any form of the game but there's a lot of guys from both teams that won't take part in the Ashes series," Clarke said.

"They will take confidence no doubt about it but I can guarantee you the way we've been playing, especially in Test and one-day cricket we're very confident.

"We've got a lot of talent. I'm very confident we'll be ready to go come the summer."

Clarke was particularly impressed with the performance of Steven Smith in the Caribbean and the young New South Wales all-rounder is putting his case forward for selection in the Test side alongside current spinner Nathan Hauritz.

Asked if there was room in the Test XI for Smith and Hauritz, Clarke said: "I think there's room for both of them in our squad.

"But the selectors have got some tough decisions to make if they can make room for both of those players.

"Nathan has done a wonderful job in all three forms of the game for a long time now.

"But Steve Smith has got an opportunity in Twenty20 cricket and made the most of it.

"He was one of the players that had a wonderful tournament and showed the world how much talent he has with bat and ball. It's a tough call."

The Australians have a few weeks without any action before heading to the UK next month for six one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches against England and two Tests against Pakistan.