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Thu, 05 Sep 2013 20:45:00 GMT | By Star Sports

Want to take Australia to the top three: Clarke

A day before the last leg of their three-month long tour, Australia skipper Michael Clarke has said that he would like to return home on a winning note. Australia play the first of their five-match ODI series against England on Friday at Headingley.

Want to take Australia to the top three: Clarke

Speaking to AAP (Australian Associated Press), Clarke said, “It's an important series for us."

"We didn't have any success in the Test series so we want to turn that around.It's been a pretty long trip in the UK, so it'd be nice for us to go home on a high with winning the series. I think it's important I'm here with the team and performing and leading from the front. II want to  want to see this one-day team back to where it belongs - at the top of the three."

Talking about staying on for the ODI series despite a grueling Ashes schedule, Clarke said, "It was a no-brainer for me if I wanted to stay here and play the one-dayers. I want to play every game I can for Australia.

"I'll prepare today, as I have done over the past few days, like I would if it was the first Test of the Ashes. It's just as important to me."

Clarke's back injury has always been a big concern for the Australians and the skipper has opted to lighten the load by staying out of the T20 format. He made it clear though, that he was going to be a part of the ODI side and that there were no issues in handling the strain. "I think it's obviously manageable," he said of his injury. "I feel as fit and strong as I have throughout my career. I can't see any reason why I can't continue to manage it and play for a lot longer in both forms of the game."

After losing the Ashes 3-0, Australia won a T20I against England and thumped Scotland by 200 runs, their only international wins in all formats of the game since the start of their tour to India in February this year.

The upcoming ODI series is also important for Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Johnson, and Matthew Wade who are looking to cement their position in a side sorely missing the services of Ponting and Hussey.

"The way to get selected in any team is to make runs or take wickets, it doesn't matter what form of game you're playing," Clarke said.

"I think the boys know that. Whatever the format, put runs on the board and selectors will be looking at you."

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