Clarke hopes it's 1997 all over again

2015-07-15 13:15
Michael Clarke (AFP)

London - Australia captain Michael Clarke has backed his side to emulate their 1997 predecessors by coming from behind to win an Ashes series.

Clarke's men go into the second Test at Lord's on Thursday 1-0 down in the five-match Ashes series after England's convincing 169-run win in Cardiff last week.

The last time Australia won the Ashes after losing was 18 years ago in England when Mark Taylor's side suffered a nine-wicket loss at Edgbaston, but recovered with a rain-affected draw at Lord's before winning the six-Test series 3-2.

"I know Tub (Taylor) quite well I know what happened in '97, and I think that's something that yeah we can speak about in the team meeting," said Clarke.

"I'm disappointed with the result (in Cardiff) but I'm not too concerned, because I know how good these players are," added Clarke, looking to lead Australia to their first away Ashes series win in 14 years.

"We just got outplayed by England ... we know we're a better team than that."

While England, looking to regain the Ashes after a 5-0 thrashing in Australia in 2013/14, are set to be unchanged at Lord's, the same cannot be said for Clarke's men.

Peter Nevill is in line for a Test debut after wicket-keeper Brad Haddin's withdrawal for "family reasons", while all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been widely tipped to replace the struggling Shane Watson.

Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc is battling to overcome an ankle injury after leading Australia's attack in Cardiff, with fellow paceman Ryan Harris's injury-induced retirement having already seen him ruled out of the tour on the eve of the first Test.

While England went 75 years without an Ashes win at Lord's from 1934, their last two Tests against their oldest rivals at the 'home of cricket' have yielded thumping victories - by 115 runs in 2009 and 347 runs in 2013.

Clarke, however, urged his side to revel in the atmosphere of a Test at headquarters.

"Lord's is special for a number of reasons, I think the history and tradition that comes with Lord's is something that you cherish as a player, you've walked onto a ground that so many great players from all parts of the world have played on," said Clarke.

"I love the silence of Lord's when you are playing. You have times where it makes me feel like I am playing club cricket.

"It doesn't make sense, but you can hear the silence.

"You can actually hear and notice how quiet it is and there are not too many places around the world where you get that.

"I don't know of a player who has played here and doesn't cherish it for the rest of your career," he added.

Meanwhile Clarke said there was nothing unsporting about his side's decision to refuse England counterpart Alastair Cook's offer of a drink after the first Test, with the custom in recent Ashes campaigns series for the teams to wait until the end of the series before sharing a beer.

"Well, I think, when Cooky approached me after the game I was a little surprised to be honest, only because it hasn't happened too many times in my career no matter who we've played that we've actually gone to the change room after the first Test if you are playing a long series," said Clarke.

"Normally we go in after a series.

"So I spoke to (Australia coach) Darren Lehmann and a few of the senior players to get their feel on it.

"They were of the opinion, like I, that at the end of the series we will make sure we go in and have a drink with England, or England will come into our change room," Clarke added.

"To us, it is not a big thing at all. I think the most important thing is, as everybody's seen, the way the game was played (in Cardiff) was extremely respectful."

Read more on:    australia  |  ashes  |  michael clarke  |  cricket

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