Clarke: This is only the start

Australia

Skipper Michael Clarke welcomed a successful start to this month's five-ODI series against England, after Australia secured a convincing 88-run win in the second match at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday.

Skipper Michael Clarke welcomed a successful start to this month's five-ODI series against England, after Australia secured a convincing 88-run win in the second match at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday.

While the series opener at Headingley in Leeds was washed out without a ball bowled, the weekend brought entirely dryer weather – and conditions primed for a large total for the side batting first.

The Australians duly obliged climbing to an impressive 315 for seven on the back of Clarke's 105 and vice-captain George Bailey's 82. England's reply was weak, slumping to a mere 227 all out, as seamers Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay shared five wickets.

"It's an important series – and as I said before we haven't played as well as we'd like, certainly in the shorter form of the game, over in the United Kingdom for the past few years," said Clarke.

"This is only the start, though. We've got three more really important games and hope we can continue to perform the way we have. We've just got to make sure we keep working hard and keep trying to get better – because there's no doubt England will get better from here."

The hosts were, admittedly, understrength. With spinner Graeme Swann, batsman Ian Bell, captain Alastair Cook and fast bowler James Anderson rested, Sunday's XI featured six players with less than 25 caps each.

"I think their team is very strong. I think there are a lot of players in that England team – whether they are full strength or not – who would be selected if I was a selector, that's for sure," added Clarke.

"For us, as the Australian team, it's about making sure we're looking after our own backyard, playing the type of cricket we've played so far today and what we did.
"But I think the England team is quite strong to be honest."

The third ODI will get underway at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Wednesday. Cardiff and Southampton will host fixtures four and five on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

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