Border backs Clarke's method

HE was the original 'Captain Grumpy' and Allan Border says Michael Clarke's Ashes demeanour has left his troops in no doubt about the hard-line approach needed to reclaim the urn. 

Clarke has been testy in the media and engaged in a sledging battle with Jimmy Anderson at the Gabba.

Border believes the skipper's made a crucial difference by leading a return to the ruthless brand of cricket Australian teams used to be renowned for.

"I think he's been outstanding," Border told the Bendigo Advertiser. "The captaincy side of the equation, as far as tactically, I think he's always been very good.

"He doesn't let the game drift, he's always making positive decisions out on the cricket field.

"But I think from a leadership side of things that harder edge that he's bringing to the table - I really like to see that.

"I think he's realised to get the best out of himself and the team it's the way to go."

Heading to Perth 2-0 up, where victory would seal a first Ashes triumph since the 2006/07 whitewash, Australia must keep its foot on England's throat, Border said.

"It can turnaround pretty quickly," he said. "They've got some good players so we've got to make sure we keep Mitchell (Johnson) fired up, the other blokes do their jobs and we keep the higher ground."

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