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Owe it to hard work: Clarke

Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson, on Monday

Adelaide: Australia’s stunning turnaround from Ashes joke to juggernaut in a few months has been the culmination of good, hard grind and paceman Mitchell Johnson finding himself in a supportive attack, according to captain Michael Clarke.

Australia crushed England by 218 runs on Monday within the first hour’s play of Day V at the Adelaide Oval to take a 2-0 lead in the five-Test series ahead of the third Test in Perth where England have not won since 1978.

Clarke said the team felt wronged by the 0-3 scoreline in England but that they knew the results would come with perseverance.

“I can’t answer the question as to why we have won the first two Test matches (here) so convincingly, it’s a positive for our team but I think these two wins are satisfying because of the work we have put in over a long period of time,” Clarke said.

“In our opinion, as players, it’s not a fluke that we have won the first two Test matches. It’s hard work that we put in in the UK and we thought we were so close but we didn’t get over the line and we were disappointed not to have success in England. So we as a team believe that now we’re seeing some results for the work we have been putting in for a long period of time, which is very pleasing.

“The other side to that is we have won two Test matches now in the past 12 months and that is not acceptable as an Australian Test team. So our feet are well and truly cemented on the ground and we are very realistic about where we want to go as a team, how we want to achieve success. We have started this series very well but there is a lot of work still to do.”

Johnson was obviously happy with his performance. “I’m going out there trying to bowl the way that I want to bowl… I guess having that intimidation factor is definitely a bonus. Look in the past and it wasn't probably quite there in the last couple of Ashes series for me. Johnson is particularly looking forward to bowling on the fast Waca pitch for Friday's third Test in Perth, where he has taken 36 wickets in five Tests at 19.67. “I will mentally reset myself for the next Test,” he said.         (agencies)