Ashes 2013: Michael Clarke says Australia can still win series

Third Investec Ashes Test: England v Australia

  • Venue: Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Date: 1-5 August
  • Start time: 11:00 BST

Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC iPlayer Radio app, BBC Sport website & BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, app & mobile devices

Captain Michael Clarke admits "people may laugh" at his claim Australia can still win the Ashes, but he insists his team can turn the series around.

Australia need to win the third Test at Old Trafford, which starts on Thursday, to keep the five-match series alive.

The tourists have lost six Tests in a row but Clarke believes victory in Manchester will give them momentum.

"Our backs are against the wall but I honestly believe we can still win the series," he said.

"I know a lot of people will laugh at that but I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we could - we can shake up this series."

The Ashes

1st Test: England won by 14 runs, Trent Bridge

2nd Test: England won by 347 runs, Lord's

3rd Test: 1-5 August, Old Trafford

4th Test: 9-13 August Chester-le-Street

5th Test: 21-25 August, The Oval

After their narrow defeat in the first Test, Clarke said Australia could still win the series.

When he repeated the claim in a pitch-side interview after the tourists had been crushed in the second Test at Lord's, the crowd burst into laughter. 

The Australians have recalled batsman David Warner, who was suspended after punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar in June, to their squad after he scored 193 for their A team in their recent match with South Africa A.

But Clarke, who stepped down as a selector in the wake of former coach Mickey Arthur's sacking, is unsure whether the 26-year-old will earn a recall.

"I think David was extremely apologetic at the time," said Clarke.

"He knows what the expectations are for Australian cricket and I am very confident he has learned from what has happened in the past."

All-rounder Steve Smith did not train on Wednesday as he nurses a bad back and Warner could replace him if he fails to recover in time.

Spinner Nathan Lyon is widely expected to replace 19-year-old Ashton Agar, who has struggled with the ball in his first two Tests despite scoring a Test record 98 as number 11 at Trent Bridge.

England's hopes of retaining the Ashes by avoiding defeat at Old Trafford were boosted on Wednesday by the news that batsman Kevin Pietersen's chances of being fit are "pretty good", according to captain Alastair Cook.