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Ashes whitewash sealed in Sydney

Australia completes a 5-0 destruction of England, fielding an unchanged team throughout the Ashes series.

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Michael Clarke's Ashes heroes have reclaimed the ''Australian brand of cricket'', according to jubilant vice-captain and veteran wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

A three-day annihilation of England in Sydney that completed a 5-0 series win has left an Australian team in the doldrums only six months ago feeling on top of the world.

They're not quite there yet - the savage beating of England over the past eight weeks confirms a leap to No.3 in the ICC Test world rankings with a visit to top nation South Africa on the horizon next month.

Brad Haddin talks to spectators during a lap of honour after the Test ended.

Brad Haddin talks to spectators during a lap of honour after the Test ended. Photo: AFP

But as Nathan Lyon led them in the team song - Under the Southern Cross I Stand - in the middle of the SCG soon after play, rather than in private in the dressing room as is the custom, it was hard to escape the belief they again are a side to be reckoned with.

''Whenever he wants to sing it, we do as we're told,'' Clarke said. ''He wanted to do it in the middle of the wicket so we happily obliged.''

A lethal cocktail of fast bowling, positivity with the bat, playing with freedom and most of all a renewed sense of fun - concocted under the leadership of coach Darren Lehmann and captain Clarke - was behind the huge victory.

Jane McGrath day at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the Jane McGrath silk is laid out in front of the Members stand. Click for more photos

Fifth Test, Sydney - Day Three

Jane McGrath day at the Sydney Cricket Ground as the Jane McGrath silk is laid out in front of the Members stand. Photo: Brendan Esposito

The difference between the two teams was enormous - the margins in the five matches were 381 runs, 218 runs, 150 runs, eight wickets and finally on Sunday, 281 runs. Alastair Cook and his men simply had no answer. Australia is not flawless - its first-innings batting remains an issue - but the team has managed to camouflage its shortcomings.

''I think we've played the brand of cricket that Australians expect and that we expect as a group. I think that's been pretty evident watching from the sideline,'' said Haddin, who after a brilliant individual campaign was pipped for the man-of-the-series award by Mitchell Johnson.

''I've been ultra-impressed with how our fast bowlers have gone about it - there has been no place to hide. Once they've been five down it's been uncomfortable and at times outright scary. We're playing the Australian brand of cricket now. Darren and all his staff can take a lot of credit for that. We're getting back to enjoying our cricket, enjoying being Australians and playing our way.

''I don't think I've ever had a better feeling in cricket. The most pleasing part to me is everyone is enjoying each other's success. We're celebrating every Test win like it's our last. You just have to look at how guys celebrate each other's hundreds and how pleased everyone was today when Ryan [Harris] got his five-for.''

Harris, the man of the match in Sydney after cleaning up the England tail and finishing with eight wickets for the match, has pushed his fragile frame through five straight Tests this summer and deserved the celebration he alluded to on Sunday night. ''We're going to be in different pain tomorrow … it's not going to be the bowling pain,'' Harris said.

Clarke paid credit to Lehmann, who took over the team only a fortnight before the Ashes in England and has been a major figure in the cultural shift that culminated with the resounding Ashes win.

''Boof has played a big part no doubt about it in allowing us to play with freedom,'' Clarke said.