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Captain Clarke lauds Ashes bowling heroes

cricket Updated: Jan 05, 2014 15:49 IST

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Australia captain Michael Clarke says Mitchell Johnson and his fellow bowlers proved they were the best bowling attack in world cricket by whitewashing England 5-0 in the Ashes series.

Australia completed a 281-run win inside three days at the Sydney Cricket Ground as England capitulated to be all out for 166 chasing 448, with pace duo Ryan Harris (5-25) and Mitchell Johnson, whose 37 wickets earned him player of the series, again decimating the England batting lineup.

Clarke said he told his bowlers "at the start of the series that I thought they were the best attack in the world and I think they've shown that in five test matches."

Clarke reserved more praise for Johnson - who has 242 wickets in 56 tests - comparing the 32-year-old spearhead bowler with some of the great names of Australian cricket.

"Mitchell's bowled a couple of spells in this series that are without doubt as good a spells as I've seen in my career," said the skipper. "And I've been lucky enough to play with Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Shane Warne."

"He's (Johnson) been an amazing bowler for a long time," said Clarke. "To be able to do bowl at that pace is one thing, to do it for five test matches, every single innings to be able to back it up is an amazing achievement."

Johnson, who took 3-40 on Sunday to lead the series with 37 wickets at a spectacular average of 13.97, said the five matches had taken their toll.

"We were just really good out there in the whole test series and we were taking it one game at a time," said Johnson. "I'm absolutely exhausted now."

"It's a huge relief to finish the Test series but we all feel confident we can play back-to-back cricket, we've shown that, keep our speeds up, keep our accuracy up and keep working well as a unit."