Ashes 2013: Australia to avoid 3-0 at Manchester

Australia are looking to avoid an early end to the 2013 Ashes series in the third test starting Thursday.

Down 2-0 already in the five-match Ashes series, which is a six straight test defeats and with their poor batting performance.

“I honestly believe we can win this series _ and I know there are a lot of people out there that will laugh at me saying that,” the Australia captain, Michael Clarke said Wednesday. “But I wouldn’t be here today if I thought this team wasn’t good enough to have success.

“The reality is, our backs are against the wall. But if we play our best cricket, I think we will give it a real shake for the rest of the series.”

“That was the prediction when we arrived here in the U.K. and it’s up to us to make sure we don’t allow that to happen,” Clarke said. “I believe we can win the series.”

Australia must also get a replacement for paceman James Pattinson, who is ruled out from ashes with a back problem. Jackson Bird and Mitchell Starc are the likely alternatives.

The priority for England’s captain Alastair Cook has been not letting his teammates get ahead of themselves, despite many bookies saying the series is already won and predicting a whitewash.

“It’s very dangerous to start thinking like that,” Cook said Wednesday. “We are a very good side when we take games one step at a time and the only thing we can concentrate on is this Old Trafford test match, not what’s gone before and not what’s going to come.”

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