Ashes 2013-14: Australia pace trio best in world - Michael Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke said his fast bowlers are "the best pace attack in the world" after his side's 5-0 Ashes series whitewash.

Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle took 75 wickets between them as England lost all 100 wickets in an Ashes series for the first time.

"We had a brief conversation before the first Test and I said to the three fast bowlers that in my opinion they are the best attack in the world," Clarke said.

"I think they have earned that mantle."

Australia 2013-14 Ashes

Johnson: 188.4ovs, 37wkts, best 7-40, ave 13.97

Harris: 166.2ovs, 22wkts, best 5-25, ave 19.31

Siddle: 156.4ovs, 16wkts, best 4-57, ave 24.12

Lyon: 176.2ovs, 19wkts, best 5-50, ave 29.36

Watson: 47.4ovs, 4wkts, best 1-0, ave 30.50

Smith: 11ovs, 1wkt, best 1-43, ave 58.00

In August Australia were beaten 3-0 in England, their third successive Ashes series defeat.

They fielded 17 players during that contest but have now become the first Australia team to remain unchanged throughout a five-match series, and only the fourth team to do so in Test history.

"I said throughout the England series, the work the guys were putting in behind the scenes they would get their rewards for," Clarke added. "It just seemed to take a little longer than we'd have liked.

"This series is an indication of the hard work the guys have put in in the last 12 months. They deserve the reward of winning 5-0."

Johnson was a figure of fun for England supporters during the last Ashes series in Australia in 2010-11, when his bowling was erratic and his 15 wickets from four matches cost 36.93 runs apiece, and he was not selected for the 2013 tour of England.

Ashes 2013-14

21-25 Nov: First Test, Brisbane: Australia won by 381 runs

5-9 Dec: 2nd Test, Adelaide: Australia won by 218 runs

13-17 Dec: 3rd Test, Perth: Australia won by 150 runs

26-30 Dec: 4th Test, Melbourne: Australia won by eight wickets

3-7 Jan 2014: 5th Test, Sydney: Australia won by 281 runs

But the moustachioed left-arm seamer was a transformed character in the latest chapter - leading a bowling unit England captain Alastair Cook described as "the best attack I have faced in my career" - and was unsurprisingly named man of the series after terrorising the England batsmen with 37 wickets at 13.97 runs each.

"That's something I'm going to cherish for the rest of my life," the 32-year-old said. "It's very special.

"We didn't expect to be here 5-0, but after England when I came into the team the guys were happy with how they were performing and looked like they were on track.

"The way we started the series was where it all went well for us."

Coach Darren Lehmann, who took charge in June before the series in England, replacing South African Mickey Arthur, said: "I'm really proud of what they've achieved as a group.

"They're well drilled, I'm really pleased with what they've taken on board. They stuck to their guns and, bar maybe a couple of hours in Perth, they were excellent.

"This is hopefully just the start of good things to come."

The margin of Australia's victory lifted them above England to third in the Test rankings  and they travel to South Africa to face the top ranked side in a three-match series starting in Centurion on 12 February.