Clarke focused on No.1 in all formats
Michael Clarke has insisted that despite the 4-0 one-day series loss in England, he is still focused on seeing Australia return to No.1 in the world in all formats of the game.
That is likely to come as a bold statement of intent to Test and Twenty20 world leaders England, especially a year out from next year’s Ashes.
Australians, though, might be encouraged by his determination and drive – even if slightly unconvinced.
The No.1-ranked Australian team (in one-day internationals) took a jolt in their ambitions having been humbled in England with a near whitewash – albeit for a rain abandonment – but skipper Clarke still has lofty aspirations for the side.
He brushed off accusations that more preparation has gone into Australia’s Test team and maintained that all three formats are as important as each other (he has retired from T20 internationals).
“I would like to say our goal is to be No.1 in all three forms of the game,” Clarke said following England’s comfortable seven-wicket victory at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
“We have been giving guys an opportunity through one-day cricket to have a look at them for Tests as well but I don’t think we have prioritised Test cricket to a level to say we will sacrifice T20 or one-day.
“Australians want to be the best at what they do and my goal is to stay at No.1 in the one-day format, get back there in the one-day format.
“I think we have enough good players in the country. We are going to have to work our backsides off but I think we have enough talent to be No.1 in all three forms of the game.”
Despite Clarke’s bold and aggressive reminder to his countrymen of the team’s ambitions, he was also realistic enough to acknowledge the challenge that England pose in the world game, along with South Africa.
“England’s bowling attack is the best there is at the moment,” Clarke added.
“South Africa are right up there at the moment and that is why England have played their best attack in the one-dayers.
“They have experience and have played a lot of cricket together. It takes a long period of time to be No.1 in the world in the Test format and they’re heading that way in the one-day format.
“We can learn a lot from this series. We go to Dubai in a few weeks and can turn it around there.”© AAP 2013