Ashes are as good as ours, says Aussie media

Sydney: Australia`s newspapers on Monday said the Ashes were as good as won, revelling in "the sun setting" on hapless England as they began talking about a 5-0 series whitewash.

The home side are closing on their third emphatic victory, leading by 369 runs with seven wickets intact heading into the fourth day in Perth.

The Sydney Morning Herald screamed "Coming home for Christmas" on its back page, referring to the Ashes urn, blaming England`s old guard for "failing to stand up under the blowtorch".

"The crystal Ashes trophy is not scheduled to be presented to its holders until the fifth Test in Sydney next month but the one-way traffic on Sunday was such that it might as well have been handed to (Michael) Clarke immediately," the newspaper`s Chris Barrett said.

Peter Lalor, writing in The Australian, focused on the role played by David Warner, alluding to his controversial past by saying: "A Dave Warner century has ended England`s Ashes hopes, finally landing a knockout blow on England`s chin.

"Warner, who famously swung and missed Joe Root`s chin and the first Test in the previous series, had his revenge yesterday, punching smart and putting away the haymakers that have got him in trouble in the past."

He added: "The sun is setting on the empire and a reign that lasted three series has apparently ended in three straight Tests."

The Daily Telegraph`s Malcolm Conn went further, saying England were in danger of "suffering their second humiliating 5-0 whitewash in seven years" with two more Tests still to come.

Under the headline "Warner explodes to hand us Ashes," The Australian`s Wayne Smith said the dynamic opener was finally displaying his potential to swing matches.

"Five years down the track, we are seeing the extraordinary potential of Warner.... For a long while he was like a supercharged street car, overpowered and overbooked, but these days he knows when to flatten the accelerator and when to ease off."