Australia’s limited-overs tour of England and Ireland represents the start of a two-year campaign to make them the top nation in all three forms of the game,captain Michael Clarke said today.
Australia head the one-day ratings,but are third in the Test standings and sixth in the T20 format.
“We’ve been the number one ODI team in the world for a while now but we need to continue to raise the bar,” Clarke said before the one-day international squad’s departure on Thursday.
“I think our cricket of late in the shorter form hasn’t been as consistent as we would like. I think once we get on the plane it’s probably the start of a two-year journey for this Australian team,whether it be the one-day team,the Test team or the Twenty20 team,to have a lot of success and get back to being the number one in all forms of the game.”
Australia will play two English county teams and a one-day international against Ireland before facing fourth-ranked England in five ODIs.
Clarke said he had been surprised by England batsman Kevin Pietersen’s recent retirement from ODIs.
“I’m thrilled I don’t have to play against him in one-day cricket because he’s such a good player and he’s had a lot of success and he’s a natural in it,” Clarke said.
“But England have a lot of good players in their team.”
Clarke nominated David Hussey to fill the batting role of innings closer and pacer of run-chases in the absence of his elder brother Michael,who withdrew from the tour for family reasons following the premature birth of his fourth child.
Clarke said he was confident that a pay dispute between Cricket Australia and the players would be resolved this month and said the last thing he wanted to do would be to go on strike.
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