Ashes 2013-14: Australia success no fluke - Michael Clarke

Australia celebrate

Australia captain Michael Clarke says his side's 2-0 lead in the Ashes is not "a fluke" and the result of hard work.

Clarke's side were beaten 3-0 in England last summer, but have taken control of the series down under with huge wins in Brisbane and Adelaide.

"In England we were closer than the score showed," said Clarke, whose side completed a 218-run win on the fifth morning of the second Test.

"This isn't a fluke, this is reward for hard work over a long period of time."

Australia's win in Adelaide followed the 381-run first Test success and leaves them on the brink of winning the Ashes for the first time since 2006-07.

Clarke's side can end a run of three successive Ashes series defeats with victory in the the third Test, which begins on Friday at the Waca in Perth, a ground where England have only ever won one Test.

"I can't answer why we've now won so convincingly," continued 32-year-old Clarke, whose team were winless in nine Tests before the start of this series.

"It's obviously exciting we're going to a ground we're comfortable at in Perth, but I'm most concerned about continuing the same brand of cricket.

"England aren't throwing in the towel. They're a tough team and will continue to be competitive. We have to be at our best to keep them down."

Australia's success has been largely built on the threat of pace bowler Mitchell Johnson, who took 7-40 in the first innings in Adelaide as England were blown away for 172.

Bowling at speeds as high as 94mph, Johnson has taken a total of 17 wickets in the series at an average of 12.70external-link and has been named man of the match in each of the first two Tests.

"I'm bowling the way I want to bowl," said the 32-year-old left-armer. "The intimidation factor is a bonus because it wasn't there in the last few Ashes series. I've enjoyed it."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann, who took charge at the start of the series in England, said: "Mitch has been impressive. He's confident.

"When a bowler is bowling at 150kmh (93mph), it's not easy. It would have got me out every time."

Australia lost the first two Tests in the previous series in England but were hampered by the weather is the drawn third and fifth matches, and were in contention in the fourth at Chester-le-Street before a Stuart Broad spell took England to victory.

"I think we started the turn around after the second Test at Lord's," added Lehmann. "The consistency has now been there in these first two Tests.

"It helps when you win, because at the end if the day in England we lost the games. Once you start to win it makes it easier for the guys to know what we're doing and where we're going."

Australia have named an unchanged squad for the third Test, with all-rounder James Faulkner added to the side that won in Adelaide.


•This is only the second time in history that England have lost successive Tests by more than 200 runs

•Only one team in Test history has come back from two down to win a series

•Only three times in Test history has a team come back to draw a series after being two nil down

•Australia secured back-to-back Ashes wins for the first time since 2006-07 series

•England have not passed 400 in their last 20 Test innings

•England have been out 21 times to leg-side catches in the series so far

•Eight of those dismissals have been caught on the leg-side boundary

•Matt Prior's half century was his first in 17 innings

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