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Hard work paid off, says Clarke

Perth: Australia’s transformation over the last three months came about because the players simply got fed up with losing and decided to put in the hard work to turn their fortunes around, captain Michael Clarke said after they reclaimed the Ashes on Tuesday.

In March, Clarke was captain of an Australia team in crisis with as many off-field problems as they had on it and soon to lose their coach after a 0-4 series drubbing in India.

On Tuesday, though, he was celebrating winning back the earthenware symbol of Anglo-Australian sporting rivalry with emphatic victories in the first three Tests of the series.

“I can only put it down to hard work,” he said. “The way the guys have trained and prepared, that’s not just batting in the nets or bowling in the nets. The guys are fitter, they’re stronger. Mentally they’re certainly as well prepared as possible. Then the work they’re doing in the nets. It all adds up. The hard work paid off.

“If you don’t have success, if you’re not performing as you’d like as an individual player or as a team, you get to a place where you get sick of losing, or sick of not getting runs, or not taking wickets,” he added.

Although reluctant to single out individuals for credit, Clarke was prepared to pay tribute to the work done by a bowling unit spearheaded by Mitchell Johnson. “The other guys have played a big part to allow Mitch to bowl the way he’s bowled,” Clarke said.

Meanwhile, David Warner is mulling a baseball trial in the United States, according to a newspaper report.