I am going to cherish every minute of this Ashes win, says Michael Clarke

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“I’ll make sure I stay focused on this Test match”

Australia captain Michael Clarke has announced that he will be cherishing every moment of this Ashes win, especially since the baggy greens have had to wait five long years to regain the coveted urn.

However, Clarke is still not keeping his eye off the other prize he wants, which is to whitewash England 5-0.

“I aim to win this Test match, probably because I’ve seen both sides of this game,” Clarke said. “I know how quickly you can be praised by the media and I also know how quickly you can be criticised. I’m not silly enough at 32 years of age to look past tomorrow to be honest because I know a couple of ducks and my job’s on the line or a couple of losses and I’m under the same pressure.

“That has been my advice to a lot of players who come onto the international scene. It’s very easy to say don’t look too far ahead. But it’s so crucial in this world, and that’s where we sit as a team now. Two months ago, we were the worst Australian cricket team to ever tour India. Two months on, I think Ricky Ponting might have said, in an article the other day, it could be the greatest ever Ashes win by an Australian cricket team. So two months, things can change. I’ll make sure I stay focused on this Test match.”

Speaking about his captaincy, Clarke stated that unless he was dropped or decides to retire, then he will relish every moment of leading one of the best transitional teams in the world.

“Until the selectors decide to drop me I guess, or I decide to retire,” Clarke said when asked if he was planning on handing the reigns to somebody else. “One or the other. Hopefully, retirement comes before getting dropped. That’s the sport we play. That’s the world we live in now. If you don’t perform well as an individual player, you’ll be dropped.

“If the team doesn’t perform well then generally in our sport the captain’s accountable and he’ll probably be dropped. All I can do is continue to give my best. If somebody comes along who’s better than me or my best is no longer good enough then I’ll no longer be needed here.”

Clarke also hinted that Australia are likely to continue using the same squad as the last three Tests, especially since 12th man and all-rounder James Faulkner recently fractured his thumb while batting in the nets.

However, the pace duo of Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile will remain on standby just in case any last minute injuries occur.

“At this stage we’ve got the same 12 for this Test match and we’ll announce the 11 at the toss,” Clarke said. “But at this stage everyone seems fully fit. I haven’t looked at the wicket yet…I think it’s more about assessing the conditions tomorrow morning before we announce our 11.”

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