The Australians have reached England to play the Ashes 2015-2016, scheduled to start on 8 July. Keeping in mind the fact that Australia have not managed to win the Ashes urn for over a decade now, they would be desperate to turn the records in their favour.
Michael Clarke and company have already set their eyes on the trophy and the skipper is hopeful that they will be able to win the prestigious series in England. Clarke has also opined that the gentleman's game will be played in the right spirit and his side will not cross the sledging line.
However, when it comes to the oldest rivalries in international cricket, things could go out of hands. History says that no game between England and Australia has been completed without sledging and several instances from the last Ashes in Australia prove the fact.
"I'm confident the series will be played in the right spirit. Both teams will play hard. I know I probably say this every series — but we respect there's a line you can't cross. Both teams might 'head-butt' that line, but I'm confident we won't overstep the mark," said Clarke at a press conference in the team's hotel.
The war of words seems to have set its course ever since the visitors landed in London. Most recently, former England off-spinner Graeme Swann said on Sunday that Steve Smith is not a great player nor his techniques are of world class quality.
"I reckon Swanny's a beauty. I always liked him; I loved playing cricket against him. I'm sure he's probably just trying to get under the skin of a few of the players. (But) it's not what you say; it's what you do. We'll find out in five Test matches' time if Steve Smith's good enough to have success over here," Clarke told reporters when asked about Swann's comment on Smith.
The record for Australia in England since 2001 does not speak well off them. Clarke was a part of the Australian team when they lost the Ashes thrice after that and this time he is confident that his team would step up to the plate and make it big.
"I've played for long enough and I'm realistic enough to know that playing here is a really tough challenge. Look at our record over the last 10-15 years (in England) — it's certainly not what we'd like as an Australian team.
"But there's good reasons for that... England are very tough to beat at home. The fact that we haven't had much success in this country, I think that's a real driving force and makes you really hungry," Clarke concluded.