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Thread: Our goal is to be number one team in the world: Clarke

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    Default Our goal is to be number one team in the world: Clarke

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    ADELAIDE: Michael Clarke said his Australia still have plenty to do if they want not only to win back the Ashes from England but also to become the world’s top Test team.
    Australia took a 2-0 lead in the five-Test series following a 218-run trouncing of England in the second Adelaide Test on Monday and are poised to retrieve the Ashes they lost in 2009 should they win the third Test in Perth starting Friday.
    The Australians have proved dominant on the usually pacy WACA wicket with victories against England in their last six Tests there. England’s only win in Perth came in 1978.
    Captain Clarke urged his players to keep grounded as they look for one more victory to seal the series in the remaining three Tests in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
    “I think we have to be realistic,” he said. “That’s our second Test win the past 12 months and that is not acceptable as an Australian Test team so our feet are certainly well and truly cemented on the ground.
    “There’s a lot of work for us to do to get back to being the number one team in the world and that’s our goal.”
    Australia are currently ranked fifth on the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings behind number one South Africa, with England third.
    Meanwhile, Mitchell Johnson said he is relishing his intimidatory bowling, which has rattled England, earned him two man-of-the-match performances and brought Australia to the brink of winning back the Ashes.
    Johnson backed up his nine-wicket haul in the opening Brisbane Test victory with another eight scalps in Adelaide to have 17 wickets for the series at the stunning average of 12.50.
    “I’m going out there trying to bowl the way that I want to bowl,” said Johnson. “I’m bowling in short spells, that is what Michael [Clarke] has wanted me to do through this series so far, and it’s something that I have really enjoyed doing.
    “I guess having that intimidation factor is definitely a bonus. [Now] I will mentally reset myself and I need to be prepared for the next Test.”
    Johnson, Stokes not guilty over collision
    Johnson and England’s Ben Stokes have been found not guilty of making deliberate physical contact during the second Ashes Test, said the ICC on Monday.
    Both players pleaded not guilty to the charge and separate hearings were held after the second Test on Monday, following which match referee Jeff Crowe cleared them of the charges.
    “I am satisfied in respect of both players that their physical contact was not deliberate,” said Crowe in a statement.
    “Both players, however, could have done more to avoid each other and they have been so counselled.”
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