BULLISH Australia captain Michael Clarke has called on his team to compound England’s misery by completing a 5-0 whitewash.
Yesterday’s 150-run win in Perth gave Clarke his first Ashes series triumph as captain on the occasion of his 100th Test. But the batsman has demanded his men take advantage of their opportunity to humiliate England further, and also wants to dethrone South Africa as the world’s leading Test team.
“Our goal is to get back to being No1 team in the world,” said Clarke, whose side currently lie fifth in the rankings. “No doubt we’ll celebrate hard tonight and enjoy it – we deserve that – but we’ve got two more Test matches. We’d love to win 5-0 in this series.”
Clarke – a member of the last Australia squad to lift the urn, and scorer of a century in the decisive third Test as England were whitewashed, in 2006 – reserved special praise for Ben Stokes and admitted the Durham all-rounder’s mature 120 had provoked fears the tourists might force an improbable draw.
“It was a tough night’s sleep last night. No doubt we were nervous,” he said. “I think Ben Stokes deserves a lot of credit for the way he played.
“Our bowlers did a fantastic job. It certainly wasn’t given to us easy but we expect that. We’ve known from day one that playing against England’s always tough.”