Australian players celebrate after winning the third Ashes Test against England in Perth on Monday. Image Credit: AFP

Perth: Victorious Australia will head to Melbourne for the Boxing Day Test against England brimming with confidence after reclaiming the Ashes in Perth and on a mission to subject the tourists to another 5-0 series whitewash.

Captain Steve Smith was a member of the Michael Clarke side that swept the last series Down Under in 2013/14 and will feel good about his chances of emulating his former skipper by defeating Joe Root’s demoralised team in the final two matches.

“It’d be fantastic to do that and we’ll talk about Melbourne when we get there,” Smith said after their innings and 41-run win at the WACA saw Australia take back the urn.

“Right now, I’m just really satisfied with what we’ve achieved in these first three Test matches. I’d love to do that again, but we will just take it one step at a time.”

Australia were able to pick the same team throughout the series sweep in 2013/14 but Smith may not have that luxury due to an injury doubt over Mitchell Starc.

The pace spearhead carried a heel injury through the final day at the WACA and could be rested for Melbourne, which may open the door to a recall for squad seamer Jackson Bird.

“I saw him just now and he said: ‘I’m playing’, but I’m not sure it’s all his decision,” Smith said. “We’d love to win 5-0 with the big three still going, but we’ve got an — important tour to South Africa after this series, which we’d love to have him available for, so there are a few things to sum up. We’ll see how he pulls up over the next couple of days.”

Starc has taken 19 wickets in three Tests, with Josh Hazlewood claiming 15 and Pat Cummins 11. Nathan Lyon has 14 from his spin.

“Here in Australia [fast bowling] certainly makes a difference on the flatter tracks where there isn’t much sideways movement. That extra air speed can make a big difference,” Smith said. “We’ve worked really hard to make sure we had these three big quicks on the park for this series.

“A couple of them skipped the one-day series in India. We knew what was coming up. We were — preparing for this series — and we wanted that big three to do what they’ve done in these last three Test matches. The force that goes through their bodies at 145kph [90mph]-plus must take a lot out of you. I’ve got a newfound respect for the bowlers — the work they do off the park, the weights, the rehab, the fitness, everything they do to get themselves right for Test-match cricket and bowl at that pace.”

With Hazlewood in top form after grabbing five wickets to rout England for 218 in their second innings at the WACA, Australia are unlikely to be overly concerned about Starc’s possible absence.

Coach Darren Lehmann said he was eager to see how the team would play with the pressure of winning the series on home soil behind them.

“It’s highly pressurised, Ashes cricket,” he said.

“Everyone is nervous every ball, every session — it’s been that way for 15 days so far.

“So they can go and express themselves a little bit more now, so we’ll be playing the same brand of cricket but with less pressure on us.”

Since an acrimonious series defeat at home to South Africa a year ago, Australia have won nine of their past 13 Tests, with their captain leading the way with over 1,000 runs in the calendar year.

Smith’s 239 the WACA, following an unbeaten 141 in the series-opener at the Gabba, has given him an astonishing average of 142 for the Ashes series.

Long saddled with the burden of scoring in a vulnerable batting line-up, Smith has enjoyed ample support in the series.

Mitchell Marsh smashed 181 at the WACA and his older brother Shaun scored an unbeaten 126 in the second Test in Adelaide.

Mitchell’s maiden ton in his 22nd Test came after years of failing to deliver with the bat, so it was hugely encouraging for a team who have searched in vain for a decent all-rounder to help support their young pace attack.

“The challenge for him is to back it up again, to be perfectly honest, and one innings doesn’t make a cricket career,” said Lehmann.

“So for him he’s got to back it up next game and do the right thing. He’s here to make runs.”