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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Party night for Australia then back to work

Party night for Australia then back to work

November 24, 2013 18:38 IST

Party night for Australia then back to workAustralia will enjoy their first Test victory in 10 matches to the full on Sunday night but then it will be back to work to prepare for the second Test against England, captain Michael Clarke said on Sunday.

The 381-run victory in the opening Test at the Gabba was a first for Australia since they beat Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground in January.

Coming after a humiliating 4-0 sweep in India followed by an only slightly less humbling 3-0 defeat in England, Clarke was clearly delighted with the Gabba victory but was equally not going to get carried away by it.

"It was obviously a long time between drinks and the boys are very excited. A good victory. A very satisfying victory," he said.

"A lot of hard work has gone into preparation ... we've been preparing since losing the series in England.

"The realistic view is that we've played some really good cricket over three and a half days, we've got the result that we've been crying out for for a long time, and now we've got a lot of hard work to do in preparation for the second Test."

Despite Australia having developed a habit of chopping and changing their fast bowlers between tests over the last year, the selectors have decided to take the same 12-man squad to Adelaide for the second Test, which starts on December 5.

That means Mitchell Johnson, the injury-prone Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle are likely to back up at the Adelaide Oval.

"I don't think it's a big concern for this test match because there's a 10-day break," explained Clarke.

"The next two Test matches are going to be tough but fortunately there's a break from now until Adelaide to freshen up.

"If you can knock over a team earlier it's always a benefit because it gives the bowlers a rest."

Johnson was named the man of the match in Brisbane courtesy of his bowling figures of nine for 103 and 103 runs with the bat.

With Clarke and opener David Warner both getting centuries in the second innings, the Australia captain said his pre-match comments that his team had a new-found confidence had been vindicated.

"I'm not going to promise the world," he said.

"I can guarantee that we took confidence out of the back half of the England series and through the One-day series, and in India in the One-day series there, and I think you've seen that through this Test match.

"The boys have the confidence whether with the ball or the ball."

Spinner Nathan Lyon, who was a groundsman at the Adelaide Oval the last time England toured Australia, also contributed to a fine bowling effort at the Gabba, taking key wickets to trigger collapses in both innings.

When Mike Hussey retired after the win over Sri Lanka in January, Lyon was handed the task of leading Australia in their victory song.

On Sunday, he fulfilled the duty for the first time.

"We certainly got into the change room while it was quite emotional and sung the team song," Clarke said.

"Nathan has a very good voice and sung it loud and sung it proud. It's been a long time between drinks for us. There's been a lot of hard work going into getting this victory.

"We should enjoy that together, that's for sure."

Image:Australia's captain Michael Clarke (second right) prepares to shake hands with England's captain Alastair Cook (right) after winning the first Ashes Test

Photograph: David Gray/Reuters

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