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Bob Willis: 'Australia need Michael Clarke at three'

Willis: 'Australia need Clarke at three'
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Bob Willis says that Australia need to move captain Michael Clarke higher up the batting order if they are to have a chance of beating England in the Ashes.

Former England cricketer Bob Willis believes that Australia should place Michael Clarke at number three in their batting order if they are to have a chance of turning their fortunes around against England in the Ashes.

The Aussies currently trail the series 2-0 and were hammered during a 347-run loss, as they were bowled out for 235 in their second innings on day four of the second match on Sunday.

"I think they can make a few changes that would make them a stronger side and, first and foremost, they need their best player, Michael Clarke, to bat at number three," Willis told Sky Sports News.

"It's a perfect position for Clarke; if he is in for the second delivery of the match, he has the technique to fend off the new ball, while if he comes in at 150-1, he has the ability to dominate proceedings and put the opposition out of the game. There is no point in him entering the fray at 30-3 every time as the damage has already been done.

"Clarke is having a testing time in the field at the moment with a fairly inexperienced bowling attack - Peter Siddle apart - and probably needs time to get in the zone to bat. But if Alastair Cook can do it and open the innings, I don't see why the Australia captain can't come in at number three."

Australia face England in the third Test of the Ashes at Old Trafford on August 1.

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Graeme Swann celebrates one of his five wickets against Australia on July 19, 2013
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