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Clarke calls on familiar faces

Michael Clarke is seeking to steer Australia away from a rocky present by drawing on their world-beating past.

The skipper's plans for the current team include an open line of communication to the likes of Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.

All three represent links to Australia's period of world domination in the mid-to-late 90s and early 2000s and Clarke, who played with McGrath and Warne, believes their knowledge is an invaluable resource.

"We had Glenn McGrath around the group over the last couple of days, who spoke of his experiences...Steve Waugh was around the changing room yesterday as well and I think Shane Warne's going to come in," said Clarke.

"Something I am proud of, and I know Darren Lehmann is keen to do it, is bringing past players in around the group.

“I think there has been a stage in the Australian cricket team when we have almost forgotten why we do sit where we sit and play this great game, travel the world and fly business class and stay at fantastic hotels.

"It's certainly not because of what this team has done, it is because of the people who have come before us. The players have enjoyed it. I know a lot of the guys really enjoyed talking to Glenn McGrath over a couple of beers the other night.

"Warney has spent a fair bit of time around the group too. I'm extremely proud of our history in the game and when my time is done I hope the next generation is just as proud."

While nostalgic looking back over former glories could provide great inspiration, it is those in the squad at the moment that will be tasked with levelling the Investec Ashes.

England are 1-0 ahead in the rubber having emerged victorious in a thrilling series opener at Trent Bridge, meaning there is plenty of work ahead for Clarke et al.

"We as a team know we have a really important job to do in this Test match and for the rest of this series,” said Clarke.

Selection-wise Australia have a couple of pressing issues, with number three Ed Cowan vulnerable to the challenge of Usman Khawaja after a poor Test and the possible temptation to draft in one of Ryan Harris or Jackson Bird among the seamers.

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