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'Not boastful', but Clarke insists Australia can keep Ashes alive

Last updated on: July 31, 2013 11:15 IST

'Not boastful', but Clarke insists Aus can keep Ashes hopes alive

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Micheal Clarke hasn’t given up hopes on reclaiming the Ashes just yet. Even after receiving a severe bollocking at the hands of England in the first two Tests the Australian captain is certain that his team can fight back in the third Test at Old Trafford.

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He stated in his column in the Sydney Morning Herald that Australia was a model of positive mental attitude.

"England were the better team at Lord's but we know we can beat them," he wrote in Daily Telegraph on Wednesday.

"This is not some sort of hollow boast. We almost won the first Test at TrentBridge little more than a fortnight ago. Big results can turn on little moments.

"We have shown enough on this tour individually to know that if we put our performances together as a unit we are a very competitive side.

"Everyone in the top seven has scored a half-century in the first two Tests and our bowling has been generally strong."


Image: Michael Clarke and his teammates
Photographs: Getty Images

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'Old Trafford can help spinners'

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Two down in the series and coming off the back of a thumping 347-run defeat at Lord's, the bookmakers make Clarke's side 4-1 outsiders to keep their slender hopes of winning the series alive in Manchester starting on Thursday.

Another positive he had for Australia fans was that his injured back has healed and he will be playing the third Test.

Australia are expected to recall spinner Nathan Lyon for the Old Trafford Test and Clarke's comments suggested it would be at the expense of, rather than in addition to, teenager Ashton Agar.

"England have brought Monty Panesar into their 14-man squad as a second spinner, reinforcing the belief that Old Trafford can help the spinners," he added.


Image: Michael Clarke
Photographs: Getty Images

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'We have to cash in on good conditions when batting in the first innings'

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"However, there has already been help for the spinners from the dry pitches we have played on in the first two Tests and I don't expect the conditions in Manchester to be that much different."

Clarke also wrote about his tactics had he won the toss in the third Test.

"They are generally good conditions for batting in the first innings and that is where we really have to cash in. A good first innings allows you to control the game and gives your bowlers the chance to be more attacking, knowing there is a good buffer of runs.

"There are three Tests left and we always turn up to a game believing we can win.

"Let's see what sort of history we can create over the next few weeks," he concluded.


Image: Michael Clarke and coach Darren Lehmann
Photographs: Getty Images

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