Ashes 2013-14: Comeback win delights captain Michael Clarke

Shane Watson and Michael Clarke

Australia captain Michael Clarke hailed his team's fighting qualities after they came back from a losing position to win the fourth Ashes Test.

Trailing by 51 runs on first innings in Melbourne, Australia bowled England out for 179 and surged to an eight-wicket victory to take a 4-0 series lead.

"That was probably the greatest challenge for this team," said Clarke.

"For the first time in this series, we were behind in a Test match and we had to find a way to claw our way back."

Australia's resounding victories in the first three Ashes Tests were all built on substantial first innings leads, but in Melbourne they had to fight back from a difficult position.

The recovery began on the morning of the third day when they battled back from 164-9 to post 205 and cut England's lead to 51.

They then bowled England out cheaply to leave themselves a target of 231, which they reached for the loss of only two wickets in the middle of the fourth afternoon following a century from opener Chris Rogers.

"Our bowlers deserve a lot of credit," added Clarke. "We experienced some deserved criticism for our poor first-innings batting performance, and the way our bowlers were able to turn it around - knocking them over for 179 - and the way we batted today, you see the real positive sides of this team.

"I think it's a very special win for a number of reasons, starting with the fact that a lot of people thought we would come here complacent and not have the same willpower to continue to play the same way as in the first three Tests.

"We've had our ups and downs. There is no doubt that the winning feeling is back in our camp. That's the way we are playing at the moment."

Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson, who took eight wickets in the match to take his series tally to 31, said Australia will now devote their energies to securing a 5-0 series whitewash by winning the final Test in Sydney, starting on 3 January.

"It was a big day yesterday we had the faith that as a bowling group we could do it," he said.

"They started very well and then it turned round with Nathan Lyon and his well-deserved five-for. Chris Rogers knows the ground really well and I'm really proud for him.

"We're 4-0 up now and we're not going to stop here, we're going to keep driving it in, we want to go 5-0."

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