Ashes 2013 Third Test: focus is Waca Test, not milestone

  • AP, Perth
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 13, 2013 01:42 IST

The old urn is the last thing England captain Alastair Cook wants to be exchanging with Michael Clarke when their 100th Tests coincide. Clarke's Australians can reclaim the Ashes with another win at the Waca, and they're favorites to do that on a ground where England has tasted victory just once.

Mitchell Johnson has intimidated the England batsmen with his short-pitch bowling, taking 17 wickets in man-of-the-match performances in Australia's first two wins - and he's expected to bowl even faster at his favorite venue in world cricket. A local critic has described the Waca pitch as "the deck of death."

But while all the pre-match hype has been about the bounce and carry the bowlers will get at the Waca, Cook knows it can yield runs for the batsmen.No team has come back from 2-0 to win an Ashes series since Australia in the 1930s. Cook said it would be "great sharing" the occasion with Clarke, who made his Test debut in 2004.

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Clarke paid tribute to Cook, too, describing the 28-year-old opener as a "wonderful guy" and saying he deserved a lot of credit for the way he led England.

As for his own milestone, Clarke said he was more concerned with winning the Ashes. "With regards to being your 100th Test, it's not a focus. There's other reasons why this match is so special to me."


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