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CRICKET: Michael Clarke pleads for patience.

Michael Clarke has warned Australia fans there's no quick fix to his side's alarming batting woes.

The Baggy Green batsmen have come under fire as the Aussies have suffered their third successive Ashes series defeat - they are 3-0 down with one Test to play, at The Oval next week.

In three of the four Tests played so far, the bowling attack has put the tourists in a position for victory only to be horribly let down by the top six. However, 'Pup' believes the Aussies' best chance of improving is by sticking with the current squad and he has urged his team-mates to not lose faith.

"All I can ask from the players is that they try and get better every day," the skipper said. "If they do that, that will make us a better team. That's all I can ask. We are working exceptionally hard."

Australia's latest failure came on Monday during the fourth Test in Durham when, in a position of strength at 147 for two chasing 299 for victory, they lost eight wickets for 56 runs to surrender another series to England. While Clarke and Co ended up reaching 224, since 2010 they've been bowled out for less than 200 on nine occasions and finished winless each time - highlighting just how poor their batting has become.

Meanwhile, the only man who can hold his head up from this week's second innings collapse, David Warner, believes the series could still be alive had he not been dropped for the first two Tests for punching Joe Root. However, the aggressive opener, whose dismissal for 71 signalled the start of Australia's demise at Chester-le-Street, admitted he had no one to blame but himself.

"I'm always going to think I could have [made a difference],'' Warner said. ''It is what it is. I stuffed up and had to go away and score some runs and play the game I know I can play.

"We were so close in that first Test when we should not have even got to where we were without Ashton [Agar]'s 98. We have played three good Test matches where we could have won and it could have gone either way."

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 14, 2013
Words:378
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